2 Starting Point
4 What We Can Do
A message from President Berkey.
5 Campus Buzz
Faculty appointments and awards;
Bill Grogan '46 is honored; a look back
at Homecoming 2008; and more.
8 The Big Picture
Alexia Bililies '09 is thinking big.
For entrepreneur Chad Joshi '80,
clean energy starts with grease.
1 2 Explorations
A student project brings a sustainable
solution to the water crisis in Morocco.
1 4 Investigations
Research from Professor Malcolm Ray's
lab is improving the safety of our cars.
Alumni Relations goes green;
save the date for Reunion 2009;
new Development faces; and
Goddard Hall's renovation.
East Hall's green roof is, well, greens.
Photo (this page) by Patrick O'Connor. For
more on WPI's new green residence hall and
other sustainable initiatives, see page 16.
1 6 The Greening of WPI
Sustainability is more than a buzz word at WPI.
20 Improving the Human Condition
Advancing care for HIV/AIDS. Improving technology to detect cancer.
Just another day in the office for a couple of WPI alumni.
® Mixed Sources
Product group from well-managed
forests, controlled sources and
recycled wood or fiber
www.fsc.org Cert no. S
© 1996 Forest Stewardship Council
26 All Systems Green:
Wind, Waste, Water, and WPI Alumni
Andrew Stern '92 and Bernie Podberesky '58 envision a cleaner future.
30 Redefining the Safety Zone
Three alumni help keep the rest of us out of harms way.
34 The Voices of Worcester's
Barbara Haller '83 and Pat Spencer '05 share
their perspectives on the neighborhood.
> STARTING POINT
Tar and away the best prize that life offers is the chance
to work hard at work worth doing/'
— Theodore Roosevelt
I recently learned that a WPI colleague, Adam Epstein '05, leaves a copy of
Transformations in the seat-back pocket of every airplane in which he travels.
"Sometimes I'll even take a few and, awkwardly, put them in seats other than
my own," he says. "On a trip last year, I remember a gentleman in my row
who was actually reading it during the flight, and we made conversation."
In short, it's some extra visibility for WPI with an especially captive
audience. It makes me smile to think about all the JetBlues and Deltas of the
world, unknowingly transporting this very magazine back and forth across the
country, around the globe, and into the hands of people who may have never
before heard of WPI. Lucky for me — and for all of us, really — Adam's job in
Admissions involves a good amount of travel.
If you're reading this column, this magazine, you're likely invested in some
way in WPI. Perhaps you're an alum, a professor, a retired staff member, or a
parent — or grandparent — of a current student. (Perhaps you're traveling on an
airplane at this very moment and you've stumbled by accident onto this issue
of Transformations. If so, please keep reading!) Whatever your connection to
this university, won't you follow Adam's example and share this magazine with
someone you know, or even someone you don't know. As a community, it's our
collective duty to educate just a few more prospective students, parents, faculty
members, or corporate partners, about why WPI is such an exceptional place.
I imagine such people would be interested in, or even surprised by, the
impact that a WPI education can have. Take this issue of Transformations, for
instance, in which we tell the stories of the significant work and activities of
WPI alumni, students, and faculty in areas as diverse as health, safety, the envi-
ronment, and the Worcester community. In an uncertain economy — or any
economy, for that matter — this work remains of utmost importance to
advancing our knowledge, improving our standard of living, and contributing
to the world in myriad ways.
In Chicago, Bruce Minsky 77 (page 21) has improved the course of
treatment for patients with colorectal cancer, the result of which has increased
the survival rate for the devastating disease. In Paris, while traveling for work,
Romiya Glover Barry '04 (page 25) is meeting with clients to bring to market
technologies and products that will aid those with blood clotting disorders.
In Anchorage, Peter Bellino '08 (page 30) helps protect the gas pipeline there,
where the threat of fire stretches on for thousands of miles. In our own back-
yard, Barbara Haller '83 (page 34) is improving our way of life, as a Worcester
city council member and longtime concerned citizen.
There's more: Faculty research improves the safety of our cars, and a stu-
dent project helps a community in Morocco come up with solutions to relieve
the water crisis there.
While it may be difficult to whittle down the essence of WPI in just a
few words or phrases, I'm hopeful that we've captured at least some of the
spirit in these 56 pages.
This is The Important Work We Do. Pass it on.
Thanks for reading.
Charna Mamlok Westervelt, Editor
VOLUME 106 • NUMBER 1 •
' WINTER 2009
EOMI A N C
Charna Mamlok Westervelt
Vice President for Marketing and
Alumni News Editor
Graphic Designer and Copy Editor
Print Production Coordinator
Director of Advancement Publications
Michael W. Dorsey
Director of Research Communications
Alumni Communications Committee
Robert C. Labonte '54, chair; Phil Cyr '86 (MBA '02), James S.
Demetry '58, William J. Firla Jr. '60, William R. Grogan '46,
Dusty Klauber '68, Howard Levine 72, Megan Lindberg '04,
Amy L. (Plack) Marr '96, Harlan B. Williams '50
Gina Betti, Collaborative for Entrepreneurship and Innovation;
Anne McPartland Dodd 75; Hossein Hakim, Electrical and
Computer Engineering; Dana Harmon, Physical Education,
Recreation, and Athletics; Natalie Mello, Interdisciplinary
and Global Studies; Robert Oborne, Development; Robert
Thompson, Chemical Engineering; Richard Vaz, Electrical
and Computer Engineering, and Interdisciplinary and
Diverse views presented in this magazine do not necessarily
reflect the opinions of the editor or official WPI policies.
Address correspondence to the Editor, Transformations,
WPI, 100 Institute Road, Worcester, MA 01609-2280.
Phone: 508-831-6715; Fax: 508-831-5820.
Transformations (ISSN 1 538-5094) is published quarterly by
the Division of Marketing and Communications for the WPI
Alumni Association. Printed in USA by Dynagraf.
Periodicals postage paid at Worcester, Mass., and at additional
mailing offices. Postmaster: please send address changes to address
above. Entire contents © 2009, Worcester Polytechnic Institute.
Proper Head Count Capturing a Snapshot of WPI History
The "Women of WPI" article in the Spring 2008 Transforma- I read your excellent article "The Women of WPI" with
tions states that 26 percent of the class of 2008 are women. great interest. Women have come a long way at WPI and
It seems to me that 26 percent is still lower than it should be, you have captured the flavor of their presence. There were
but don't short-change the progress WPI has made. Although
women make up one-quarter of the Class
of 2008, the ratio of women to men is
1:3, not 1:4 as stated.
Steve Delfino '89
Editor's note: Oy! We are still smacking
our heads over this one. Thanks to Mr.
Delfino, who was a math major at WPI,
for pointing out our error.
Further Explanation Needed
I enjoyed "The Women of WPI" in the
recent issue of Transformations. I had to
laugh at the comment by Mary Farren
McDonald 79 about the men memo-
rizing all the women's names. That happened to me too,
over 20 years later!
One thing I didn't like was the statement, "For years,
girls did not attend institutions like WPI because they weren't to campus Stephanie Blaisdell, the predecessor of Michelle
taking the high-level math and science needed for admission." Nicholson, director of women's programs.
This is whitewashing the sexist reality. Women were not
allowed into these institutions for many years because of
their gender, and even when they weren't officially denied,
they often couldn't take the advanced courses needed to get
in. My mother grew up in St. Louis, Mo., and went to an
all-girls Catholic school. Hardcore math and science just
weren't offered. She was stuck learning cooking and home
economics. Women weren't even encouraged to go to college
at all. My mother-in-law — who is a bit younger, grew up in
Maine, and went to college in upstate New York — tells me
she wanted to be a math major in college, but women were
not allowed to take calculus. She had to settle for accounting
since it didn't require the advanced math courses she was
The article makes it sound like it was entirely women's
fault that they weren't entering science and engineering fields.
Kerry Lee Anderson '03
just a few other notable events in the life of women at WPI
that I thought I'd mention. There were
two women faculty in 1967, both teach-
ing in the Chemistry Department —
Barbara Murphy and I. (I was on loan
from Clark University, where I was
teaching physiology). I taught molecular
biology here and Barbara was a chemistry
During his tenure here, President
Edward Alton Parrish asked a number of
us to form a Committee on the Status of
Women, which we did. The Committee
consisted of elected women members
from all facets of women's life here on
campus, with rotating terms of office.
We met frequently at Higgins House,
where I hosted a number of breakfast meetings. Recognizing
that there needed to be a dedicated person to address women's
issues, many of us were on the search committee that brought
Helen G. Vassallo '82 (MBA)
WPI Professor of Management and Secretary of the Faculty
Correction: Kasia Koscielska '08 was the recipient of the
Meridith D. Wesby Young Leader Award, given by the
Women's Initiative of United Way of Central Massachusetts.
Transformations regrets the misinformation in the Spring
2008 issue of the magazine.
Transformations \ Winter 2009 3
A message from President Berkey
What We Can Do
As a nation, we recently witnessed the historic inauguration of
Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States. Millions
of Americans gathered on the National Mall to observe the
peaceful transition of power that reflects the great strength of our
democracy, while many times more watched on televisions across
this country and around the globe. As one of those viewers, I
found myself feeling at once deeply American and truly a citizen
of the world.
I also found the presence of so many young people especially
compelling. Indeed, throughout the long presidential campaign,
the passionate support of young people for each of the major
candidates brought a marvelous energy and creativity to the
process. As the cameras panned across their faces, my thoughts
could not help but return to the inauguration of John F. Kennedy
during my own coming of age. His words that day issued an
important call to service that have remained in the hearts and
minds of so many Americans because they speak to our best
instincts — our spirit of generosity, passion for discovery, and
commitment to hard work.
When I think about WPI, I am reminded that asking what you
can do is only the first step. Doing what you can do makes all
the difference, and I believe few institutions prepare their students
to take effective action as well as WPI. The Institute's distinctive
project-enriched curriculum, the WPI Plan, focuses on the integra-
tion and application of knowledge, precisely the skills required
for imagining new possibilities, working collaboratively with
others, and getting a job done.
Throughout this issue of Transformations, you will find inspiring
stories of WPI students, faculty, staff, and alumni who have asked
what they can do — and then taken on the challenge of doing it.
On any given day, whether in the most modern cities or the most
remote villages, these remarkable individuals are doing important
work to improve the health of our planet and the lives of their
fellow man. Among them are alumni who are making great
advances in the standard of care for patients suffering from
colorectal cancer, developing a revolutionary process to recycle
plastic and rubber trash into reusable materials, working on
water and sanitation issues in developing countries, and helping
to fight homelessness right here in Worcester.
During these troubling
economic times, we on
the WPI campus are
also asking ourselves
what we can do to help
this marvelous institution
weather the storm and
emerge stronger than
ever. This we must do
while protecting the
core values that we all
associate with WPI.
These values include
the WPI Plan, our inno-
curriculum; a tradition
of excellence in under-
graduate teaching; and research activities that are both intellec-
tually challenging and truly important.
To this end, we have implemented several cost-saving initiatives
that will require all of us to work together — to do what we can
do. We have instituted a hiring "frost" on staff positions, with only
the most essential open positions being filled. We are continuing
with faculty searches, although we anticipate that several of these
will be held over for next year due to the complicated nature of
landing truly outstanding candidates. We have eliminated non-
essential expenditures in areas such as travel and meeting costs,
and we will continue to reevaluate our financial health.
Without meaning to minimize the challenges we will be facing,
I believe that the good work we have done to strengthen the
Institute in recent years, and the savings we can generate yet
this year by the measures being proposed, will position us well
to begin moving to a new equilibrium, a sustainable financial
model, that can see us through the difficult years ahead and
ensure continued success in the long run.
So, yes, these are challenging times for our nation and for this
university, but I am heartened each day by the knowledge that
the people of WPI are on the case. This is our moment to do
what we can do.
When I think about WPI, I am reminded that asking what you can do
is only the first step. Doing what you can do makes all the difference,
and I believe few institutions prepare their students to take effective
action as well as WPI.
4 Transformations \ Winter 2009
Faculty News: Appointments and Awards
Longtime faculty member John Orr
was named WPI provost and senior
vice president last spring, following an
intense yearlong, nationwide search. As
provost and senior vice president, Orr
is responsible for all of the university's
academic and research programs; he
serves as the senior member of the
Orr received BS and PhD degrees in electrical engineering at the
University of Illinois at UrbanaOhampaign and earned an MS
degree in electrical engineering at Stanford University. He began
his career at WPI in 1977 as an assistant professor of electrical
engineering and served as head of the Electrical and Computer
Engineering Department from 1988 to 2003; in 2006 he was
named dean of undergraduate studies and a year later became
provost ad interim.
Art Heinricher has been appointed
dean of undergraduate studies, respon-
sible for the quality and effectiveness
of all aspects of the WPI undergrad-
Heinricher came to WPI in 1992 as
a faculty member in the Mathematical
Sciences Department, where he is cur-
rently a professor. He was appointed associate dean for the first
year experience in 2007 and was instrumental in the development
and implementation of WPI's Great Problems Seminars, which
serve as an introduction to university-level research and project
work focused on themes of current global importance, including
food, energy, infectious diseases, and materials science and
sustainability. He holds a BS in applied mathematics from the
University of Missouri-St. Louis and a PhD in mathematics from
Carnegie Mellon University.
Jeanine Plummer, associate professor
of civil and environmental engineering
and director of the university's Environ-
mental Engineering Program, has been
named Professor of the Year for Massa-
chusetts by the Council for the Advance-
ment and Support of Education.
Plummer, who joined the WPI faculty in
1999, received a BS in civil and environmental engineering from
Cornell University; she earned both an MS in environmental
engineering and a PhD in civil and environmental engineering at
the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Last year, Robert Norton, Milton Prince Higgins II Distinguished
Professor of Mechanical Engineering, won this prestigious award
and in 2002, Judith Miller, then professor of biology and bio-
technology at WPI, received the same distinction.
Kristin Wobbe, head of the Depart-
ment of Chemistry and Biochemistry
became WPI's first Metzger Professor
of Chemistry in October. The endowed
professorship was established in 2007
through a $1.5 million gift from John
C. Metzger Jr. 46, and his wife, Jean.
Metzger, who spent his entire career
at E. I. du Pont de Nemours & Co.,
died in December 2006.
Wobbe joined the WPI faculty in 1995; she holds a BA in chem-
istry from St. Olaf College and a PhD in biochemistry from Harvard
University. She was named the Leonard P. Kinnicutt Assistant Pro-
fessor of Chemistry in 1999. In 2001 she received the Romeo L.
Moruzzi Young Faculty Award for Innovation in Undergraduate
Education, and was also promoted to associate professor of
chemistry. In 2007 Wobbe co-developed and co-taught Feed
the World, one of the inaugural Great Problems Seminars.
WPI Is Ninth in Nation for Getting Rich
A recent ranking compiled by Forbes.com recognizing the "Top Colleges for Getting Rich" rated WPI ninth in the nation, based
on the salaries of both recent graduates and those with 10 to 20 years of experience. The median salary among WPI graduates with
up to five years of experience was $61,000; among those with 10 to 20 years of experience, the median was $1 14,000. The mediar
top salary among WPI graduates was $180,000. Colleges rounding out the Top 10 are Dartmouth, Princeton, Stanford, Yale, MIT,
Harvard, University of Pennsylvania, Notre Dame, and the Polytechnic University of New York, Brooklyn.
WPI's 140th Commencement brought together students,
faculty, staff, alumni, and visitors from near and far on the
campus Quadrangle, where 1,089 bachelor's, master's,
and PhD degrees were awarded in May.
Honorary degrees were conferred upon Jeffrey Immelt, chair-
man and CEO of General Electric Co. and keynote speaker
at Commencement; Woodie Flowers, Pappalardo Professor of
Mechanical Engineering, emeritus, at
Massachusetts Institute of Technology;
Richard Lyman, president emeritus of
Stanford University, J. E. Wallace Sterling
Professor of Humanities, emeritus, and
FSI Senior Fellow in Stanford's History
Department; and Elizabeth "Jing" Lyman,
social entrepreneur and founder and
co-chair of the National Coalition for
Additionally, the Chairman's Exemplary Prize — established in 2007
through the personal philanthropy of Donald Peterson '71, chair of
the WPI Board of Trustees — was presented to two outstanding WPI
faculty members. David Adams, professor of biology and biotech-
nology, and Alexander Emanuel, professor of electrical and
computer engineering, each received a prize of $10,000.
Inspiring a lifetime of learning
in math, science, and engineering
The work of the WPI
K-12 Outreach Program
challenges students to grow
academically, making a
difference in educating the
next generation of leaders
6 Transformations \ Winter 2 009
Honoring a Man, a Plan
Dean Emeritus William Grogan '46
was honored in November at the annual
dinner of the WPI Presidential Founders,
the society made up of men and women
whose lifetime giving to the university
equals or exceeds John Boynton's found-
ing gift of $100,000. Grogan was rec-
ognized for his lifetime of service to his
alma mater and for his own generosity,
the latest in a long list of major honors WPI has bestowed on
one of its most revered graduates.
Generations of WPI students, faculty, and alumni know Grogan
as a peer, colleague, professor, dean of undergraduate studies,
and, most notably, one of the founders of the WPI Plan. He was
part of the six-member faculty committee appointed in 1967 by
President Harry Storke to review the WPI academic program,
subsequently resulting in the formation of the WPI Plan, the uni-
versity's groundbreaking curriculum that combines theoretical
study with project-based problem solving. Over 40 years later,
the Plan remains a much-admired and respected model of edu-
cational innovation, in large part due to Grogan's devotion,
passion, support, and constant vigilance.
A Clean Win for WPI Students
A student project that established a sustainable laundry facility
in a village near Cape Town, South Africa, has won first place in
the WPI President's IQP Awards competition. Researched, designed,
and installed by Lauren Alex '09, Jessy Cusack '09, Augustina
Mills '09, and Alejandro Sosa-Boyd '08, the laundry system is
being hailed as a great
labor-saving tool for the
women of Monwabisi Park.
"The students' plan will
serve as a blueprint for
all the other areas where
we intend to build more
community centers —
each one with a 'WPI
laundry system' attached,"
says project sponsor
Dianne Womersley, of
the Shaster Foundation.
"The WPI students made a significant impact and an invaluable
contribution to a poverty-stricken community."
The project was completed during C-term 2008, when the students
traveled to WPI's Cape Town Project Center — one of over 25 such
centers around the globe where WPI students work on projects to
solve some of the world's most pressing problems.
WPI alumni felt right at home during Homecoming,
Oct. 3-4. Weekend activities included athletic games,
the family carnival and parade of floats, and myriad
opportunities to reconnect with familiar friends (and
mascots) and learn what's new at WPI today.
Hogs in Heaven
WPI Dining Services has begun recycling its leftover food scraps from Morgan Hall.
Local farms will receive the leftovers (totaling 400 pounds a day!) to feed their pigs.
See page 16 to read about additional sustainable initiatives around campus.
Transformations \ Winter 2009 7
[+1THE BIG PICTURE
By Judith Jaeger
One Student's Odyssey
Alexia Bililies '09 first came to WPI as a fifth grader to participate
in an Odyssey of the Mind competition. Now Bililies is about to begin
her own odyssey, helping people around the world survive disasters.
Bililies is unusually prepared for the challenges of the path she's chosen.
She grew up traveling the world with her parents, who ran Alternative
Leisure Co., a nonprofit service organization for disabled children and
adults. And she learned the depth of her own compassion through her
volunteer work and professional activities.
While pursuing a double major in international studies and Hispanic
studies at WPI, Bililies has been a group leader for Alternative Leisure,
an assistant to a social worker and a Spanish interpreter at Lutheran
Social Services Adoption in Worcester, and a grant writer at Friendly
House in Worcester. She was also a health care disparities research
and policy development intern for the Massachusetts Public Health
Association, a special events and outreach intern at the Massachusetts
Breast Cancer Coalition, and a psychology intern at the Bureau of
Prisons Federal Medical Center in Ayer, Mass.
Bililies also undertook projects aimed at preparing her for inter-
national humanitarian work. For her IQP, she went to Namibia
to work with the Namibian Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS to
develop innovative prevention strategies that could be imple-
mented by the private business sector. She developed her own
MQP in Santiago, Dominican Republic, working with Caritas,
a Catholic nonprofit that empowers women to establish rural
pharmacies to provide affordable drugs to the poor.
Bililies, who graduated three terms early, is now preparing for
the next phase of her journey. She has been accepted into a
master's program in disaster management at the University of
Copenhagen, Denmark, and will attend with the support of a
Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship. She hopes to one day work
with the Red Cross or United Nations, organizing disaster relief
services to help those in need. Bililies is certain her WPI
education and its emphasis on project-based problem
solving will help her get there.
"I'm a big advocate for practicing what you're
learning," she says, "and I think that's what
has kept me motivated these four years."
8 Transformations \ Winter 2 09
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Your success and personal growth are dependent upon how fast you adapt to today's technology-dependent
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business and technology, giving you the necessary skills to take your career to new heights. Advance your
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FLEXIBILITY TO MEET YOUR NEEDS
Programs may be completed online, on campus, or through a flexible combination of both. Online courses
at WPI offer the same high-caliber content and faculty as on-campus courses.
QUALITY PROGRAMS FOR THE TECHNICAL PROFESSIONAL
Our MBA and MS degrees offer the bonus of AACSB business school accreditation. You will be taught
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,||| ENTREPRENEURSHIP By Kate Evans-Correia
It was in the middle of the other U.S. energy crisis when Chad Joshi '80, a mechanical
engineering student at the time, became interested in alternative energy.
"It was all about being energy independent/' says
Joshi, who recalled the energy embargo in the 1970s when
gas prices skyrocketed and long lines at gas stations were the
norm. But when the embargo ended in 1979 and oil started
flowing again, the prices dropped and the interest in energy
conservation waned. It was just the beginning for Joshi,
though, whose major project looked at the cost-effectiveness
of residential solar heating.
Today, Joshi remains driven by the desire to turn alter-
native energy initiatives into real working applications. The
entrepreneur and businessman is co-owner of the Boylston,
Mass. -based Owl Power Co., Inc., a venture whose co-gener-
ation system turns used vegetable oil into electric power.
"The key innovation is in how we process the vegetable
oil," says Joshi, who also holds a PhD from MIT.
For years, innovators have experimented with vegetable
10 Trans formations \ Winter 2 09
oil as a potential energy source, mostly for powering cars. But
the challenge with powering motor vehicles, Joshi says, is that
they require the use of diesel fuel as well as vegetable oil. Owl
Power's Vegawatt power system can run purely on recycled
vegetable oil. "We clean up the oil on site and use an internal
combustion engine to generate electricity," he says.
This waste-to-electricity system can produce about one-
third of a restaurant's power, saving up to $10,000 a year in
electricity costs for a 100-seat restaurant. At about $20,000
per unit, or $500 a month to lease, the rate of return makes
this system a compelling energy option.
With two patents pending and a local customer site in
beta testing, the company is tweaking the product to meet
the strict state and local regulatory issues around combustion
engines. Once that hurdle is cleared, the product is poised for
tremendous growth, says Joshi, and he is heavily pitching the
product to national food chains, such as McDonald's.
Joshi, who provides corporate development and strategy
consulting services to Owl Power and is responsible for busi-
ness planning and raising capital for the company launch,
says he's driven by the challenge of bringing an idea to market.
He was bitten by the entrepreneurial bug as an engineer at
American Superconductor Corp. in the late 1980s. "I liked the
idea of being involved in things in the early stage," he says.
"Building a company from scratch, taking what was being
developed in the lab and turning it into a useful application —
it was very intriguing to me."
In 1996 Joshi left American Superconductor to form
his own company, Energen Inc., a precision control device
maker based in Lowell, Mass. The company's first product,
based on technology to come out of the U.S. Naval Research
Laboratory, took Magnetostrictive — a material that changes
its shape when it connects with a magnet — and turned it into
a precision motion application now used in the image stabi-
lization feature of a movie camera. The product was licensed
to Panavision in 2007, opening the door for yet another
venture. "I decided to go back and look at what the energy
industry was producing," he says.
At the annual Clean Energy Conference in Boston, Joshi
connected with people working on clean energy initiatives. "I
started getting involved in helping these younger engineers
build a company around their technology," he says. That's
where he met Owl Power co-founder James Peret, a former
development engineer at Boston-based Insight Product
But Joshi attributes his desire to handle the business side
of technological innovation to his years at WPI. It was there,
he says, he worked on projects that showcased his technical
skills. "The flexibility allowed me to go and explore what I
was interested in — a solar heating system application. So I
talked to [Professor] Jack Boyd and said, 'Here's what I'd like
to do.' He allowed me to put together a team and explore
what was involved in designing a solar energy system."
As he immerses himself in bringing a new alternative
energy plan to fruition, Joshi says the country, like his career,
has come full circle. But he doesn't believe there will be any
waning in environmental concerns this time around. In the
1970s, the cost of oil drove people to turn to alternative
energy sources. But today, he says, it's a change in attitudes
toward fossil fuels and concerns about the environment
that will sustain the alternative energy movement.
Transformations \ Winter 2 009 II
EXP 'RATIONS By Eileen McCluskey
have turned the once-fruitful
land of Adghagh into a place where the arid earth cracks.
Until five years ago, a spring-fed river flowed through this
Moroccan village in the Middle Atlas Mountains, continually
replenishing a man-made reservoir. The lake irrigated plen-
tiful crops and attracted wealthy
tourists. Now, the springs have
dried as the water table has plum-
meted. The river's waterless ditch
reveals bones and rocks, and few
foreigners venture near the reser-
voir's scooped-out remains.
The Adghagh villagers have
farmed their land for generations.
As the water table has dropped,
these villagers, like other Moroccans, have drilled ever-deeper
wells. But only a few Adghagh residents can now afford this
solution, which becomes costlier, the deeper they drill and
pump. Families must pull children out of school to walk up
to three miles each way for drinking water. As for crops,
most families rely on scant rainfall. They can still grow staples,
including wheat and barley. But residents' main cash crop —
apples — requires a lot of water.
Last August, WPI juniors Andrea Bisson, Paige Bourne,
and Daniel Hassett spent seven weeks working with the
residents of this close-knit Berber village, to learn about their
needs and determine solutions to their water crisis. "This is
the perfect project to look at sustainability issues in remote
communities," says Tahar El-Korchi, civil and environmental
engineering professor and interim department head, and
director of the Morocco Project Center.
It was also an excellent opportunity for students to learn
about a new culture. "Over the past 20 years," says Bland
Addison, associate professor of history and project advisor,
"I've become increasingly concerned about how Muslims are
portrayed in the United States as the enemy. This project
was a great way to educate U.S. students about Islam and
Early in their visit, the WPI students met with Adghagh
residents. With Peace Corps volunteer Josh Cabell as their
12 Transformations \ Winter 2 009
liaison and translator, they con-
ducted a survey with the heads of
the village's 71 families about local
irrigation methods and residents'
hopes for the project's outcomes.
In another on-site exercise, the
students mapped the location of all
water sources in Adghagh by walk-
ing the village with a hand-held
GPS device. Hassett led the map-
ping effort, using skills he learned
in the Marine Corps ROTC. The
students pinpointed each canal of
Adghagh's irrigation infrastructure.
They mapped the town's water tower, which only better-off
families can afford to use — its pump requires pricey diesel
fuel, and all comers must pay for the fuel to run the pump.
Adghagh's wells — only one of which is public — can also be
found on the map.
When they had finished their studies and discussions, the
WPI team offered their insights.
"We made recommendations that we think the villagers
will be most likely to implement," says Bisson. For example, to
bring water immediately to Adghagh, the students suggested
raising the funds needed to drill a deep well, equipped with
a solar-powered, submersible displacement pump, for all
residents to use.
Solar-powered pumps have worked elsewhere in Morocco;
a displacement pump would be ideal, with its proposed
depth of at least 525 feet. The submersible pump, located
deep within the well, would weather the extreme cold of
"We believe that using sustainable energy makes it more
likely that an NGO will be willing to fund the project,"
explains Bourne, who evaluated different types of pumps.
Over the longer term, sustainable practices would allow
villagers to make available water supplies last longer. A rain-
water harvesting system would be practical for household use.
Residents could inexpensively install corrugated plastic sheets
on their roofs. A pipe running along the bottom of the sheet
diverts the potable water into a large enclosed barrel, equipped
with a spigot, on the ground. With one 55-gallon drum,
most households could store enough rainwater from each
storrh to supply drinking water for a week.
Village-wide adoption of line-source drip irrigation
would save on the inefficient pipes currently in use. In this
form of drip irrigation, pre-spaced emitters built into the main
water lines distribute water across an entire row of plants. The
least expensive of the drip irrigation systems, line-source is
also easy to install.
To grow the local economy, the students recommended
replacing thirsty apple trees with those that are commercially
proven and less water-needy — such as almond, sweet cherry,
and English walnut. "We know these trees flourish in this
region," says Bisson, a biology major, who led this part of
Addison feels hopeful that many of the students' recom-
mendations will be implemented. "Josh [Cabell] will work with
a better-off family to experiment with drip irrigation and culti-
vating almond trees to help overcome residents' concerns," he
says. Meanwhile, Cabell and Aicha Brahimi, the Peace Corps'
director of environmental programs, are seeking potential
grantors and government loan sources for the well.
While the students studied, wrote, and edited their report
for the village, the people of Adghagh were busy winning the
youths' hearts. "On our first visit," Hassett says, "we were
invited into a resident's home for mint tea and Moroccan
pancakes. We felt so welcomed."
"When the students first came to Adghagh, they seemed
a little nervous," says El-Korchi. "But over time, their fears
dissipated. The transformation is really profound. It's a great
accomplishment to see our students at ease in this North
African, Arab country."
Throughout the duration of ' : Al Akhav, sity
(AUI) provided housing and jrces to the WPI students.
John Shoup and Eric : Mil's School of
Humanities and Arts, worked clo hroughout
their stay. Peace Corps members Josh Cabell and Aicha Brah
and AUI student Houssam Jedda also assisted the WPi team.
Photos provided by Daniel Hassett '10.
INVESTIGATIONS By Michael W Dorsey
Before the late 1980s,
when seat belts and airbags
became common safety features
in cars, head-on collisions
tended to result in serious trauma
to the head, neck, chest, and
abdomen. In fact, a study by the
National Highway Traffic Safety
Administration (NHTSA) found
that airbags alone have cut
fatalities from frontal crashes
by more than 30 percent, prin-
cipally by markedly reducing
upper body injuries.
Addressing Safety, Head On
That's the good news. The bad news is that drivers and front-seat passengers
who survive head-on collisions often suffer serious injuries to the lower extremi-
ties — particularly the knees, hips, and thighs. While rarely fatal, these injuries often
result in costly, lifelong disabilities (one study put the annual price tag at $4 billion,
along with 60,000 life-years lost to injury — a measure of lost productivity).
The solution, most experts agree, is to redesign car interiors so they afford the
lower body the same protection that seat belts and air bags now provide the upper
body. But to do that, designers will need a new generation of tools that help them
understand the kinds of insults that knees, hips, and thighs endure in a crash, and
to cost-effectively test how well new designs can combat them.
With more than $1 million in support from NHTSA, a WPI research team
led by Malcolm Ray, professor of civil and environmental engineering and a widely
sought-after authority on highway safety, has spent the last four years developing
those tools. The result is a detailed three-dimensional finite element model of the
bones, muscles, ligaments, tendons, and skin that make up the lower body.
In essence, the model is a mathematical representation of the body — its
structure, its mechanics, and its strengths and weaknesses — that can be placed in
the driver's seat of a virtual car. When the digital car is put through a simulated
crash test, the virtual human will react just as a real person would. Impacts with
the car interior will create the same forces as real impacts, producing the same
fractures and other injuries.
To create the model, Ray and his team — which includes Chiara Silvestri '08
(PhD), research instructor in civil and environmental engineering — worked from
the inside out. They first built digital bones, a surprisingly difficult task. "The
material properties in bones change with direction," Ray says. "Different bones
will break in different ways for that reason."
In addition, bones are not uniform: most have a hard shell that encloses a
spongy interior. To the finished bones, the team added muscles. "Mechanically,
muscles are like springs and dampers," Ray says. "They are one-degree-of-freedom
elements that work only in tension." Next came tendons (which link muscles to
bones) and ligaments (which connect bones to one another). There was little in
the literature about how these tissues perform under stress.
To fill this knowledge gap, the team placed bone-ligament units in a drop
tower and subjected them to forces consistent with those experienced in automo-
bile crashes. They found that ligaments behave like ropes, Ray says. "If you add
weight to a rope slowly, it can hold more than if you drop the weight on quickly.
Similarly, ligaments and tendons tend to get more brittle the faster you put ten-
sion on them."
As the model took form, Ray and his team sought to validate it by comparing
its predictions with data from actual NHTSA crash tests that used cadavers. The
model predicted some aspects of the test results almost perfectly, but certain
results simply didn't add up.
"As we looked into it, we found that the tests had not been thoroughly docu-
mented and that some of the documentation didn't agree with what we could see
in the test photos," Ray says.
14 Transformations \ Winter 2 009
Like detectives, Ray and Silvestri pored over the evidence and reconstructed
the tests in detail, then adjusted the parameters they fed into the model accord-
ingly. "We found that very small changes — perhaps just a few degrees in how the
leg was positioned — could make a big difference in the outcome," Silvestri says.
After the adjustments, the model's predictions and the actual test results came
into close — though not perfect — alignment.
The difference, it turned out, was only skin-deep. While the model accounted
for the weight of the virtual human's skin and fat tissue, the mass of the flesh had
been lumped at the joints, rather than being spread out more naturally.
"The flesh and the bones are not rigidly coupled," Ray says. "So on impact,
some of the force will go into the bone and some will be absorbed by the flesh.
In our model, that wasn't happening." When an accurate representation of the
flesh was added to the model, the discrepancy disappeared.
"As an engineer," Ray says, "you are taught — and you believe with every fiber
of your being — that physics is correct. So when physics and your results don't
agree, you try to find out what it is in the evidence or the physics that you don't
understand. Of course, that's what makes a model better."
As the model development enters its final stages, Ray and his team are
looking forward to seeing their work put into practice in the design of future
cars, which, thanks to their diligence, will be able, finally, to protect occupants
from top to bottom. The model will likely find other applications, such as
helping prevent lower-extremity injuries in skiers or football players.
The team is also finding time to reflect on other lessons they've learned.
"I am an old-fashioned structural engineer," Ray says. "I deal with wood, concrete,
steel. This project has been a lot of fun because I've found that while the geom-
etry of the human body is very complicated and much different from most engi-
neered structures, creating this model has been, at its core, a structures problem.
Mechanics, it seems, is still just mechanics."
Over the past four years, Malcolm Ray has led a team
that has built a finite element model of the lower body
that designers can use to create safer car interiors. The
model includes realistic simulations of the structure and
function of bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments — even
flesh, which is represented by the yellow and brown
areas in the illustration above of the model's workings.
Transformations \ Winter 2 009 15
As Q COrnrnunity, perhaps the most important work we can do
together is to ensure a sustainable future for those who come after us.
From recycling dining hall scraps into animal feed, to forward-thinking
policy on the construction and operation of campus facilities, to a
new environmental studies major designed to educate the leaders
of tomorrow, WPI is deeply and widely engaged in the
global effort to clean up, and green up, the Earth.
W '.* '.
By Joan Killough-Miller
and Charna Westervelt
When Trustee Judy Nitsch '75 joined a group of WPI
volunteers ar a Kensington, Conn., nursery last spring, she
knew their work would sow the seeds — literally — for sus-
tainability In August 2008, the 10,000 seedlings they hand-
planted in modular pallets were installed atop East Hall —
crowning WPI's newest residence hall with a living green roof.
t$k m addition to providing thermal insulation and particulate
filtration for storm water, Worcester's first-ever green roof
allows students and faculty to gather research data on storm
water quality and flow. "Our civil and environmental engi-
neering students will be comparing and contrasting the storm
water runoff so WPI can quantify the advantage of a green
roof," says Nitsch, who has been a driving force and bene-
factor for green design and sustainable construction on
East Hall, a showcase of recycled materials and energy-
saving features, is on track to become WPI's second LEED-
certified building. (LEED, Leadership in Energy and Environ-
mental Design, is a national rating system by the U.S. Green
Building Council for developing high-performance, sustainable
buildings.) The first was Bartlett Center, home to admissions
Transformations \ Winter 2009 17
and financial aid, which opened in 2006. In February 2007,
the WPI Board of Trustees voted to adopt a policy calling
for all future campus buildings to be environmentally friendly
and to be LEED certifiable. "WPI recognizes the importance
of making permanent changes in how organizations do busi-
ness — with respect to energy, the environment, and the econ-
omy," says Fred DiMauro, assistant vice president for facilities.
"Energy efficiency, the careful selection of a building site,
responsible use of natural resources, and reduction in generat-
ing waste are just some factors that need to become standard
procedures in the design, construction, and operation of all
At 5,000 square feet, the green roof stands as a visible
symbol of WPfs commitment to environmental responsi-
bility. A much smaller, but very important, patch of green
bloomed on WPFs homepage on St. Patrick's Day 2008;
it is a logo that links to the Sustainability at WPI website
(wpi.edu/+sustainability). The site was unveiled to mark the
kickoff of a campus-wide effort, led by the President's Task
Force on Sustainability, to strengthen the "sustainability
sensibility" on campus, and inspire research
and action throughout the world. Its mission
embraces academic and operational initia-
tives in the areas of climate protection,
materials management, facilities operations,
local and global communities, and academ-
ics. The results can be observed in every
corner of the campus and by all segments
of the community. "We're looking critically
at the way we live and work," says Liz
Tomaszewski, WPI facilities systems man-
ager and sustainability coordinator, "and
encouraging changes that will have a posi-
tive impact on our campus, on the city of
Worcester, and throughout the world."
18 Transformations \ Winter 2009
Already, WPI has installed solar panels to light Alumni
Field walkways, instituted paperless billing, and designated
choice parking spaces for carpoolers and hybrid drivers.
Zipcar, a self-service, all-hybrid car rental system, is available
on campus to faculty, staff, and students, as an alternative to
car ownership. WPI Dining Services has begun recycling left-
over food from Morgan Hall — an impressive 400 pounds
daily — for use at local hog farms, and the university is cur-
rently undergoing a carbon audit of the campus.
With recycling bins taking up residence in dorms and
offices, Recyclemania challenged students to tackle garbage as a
competitive sport from January through March, when residence
halls went head-to-head to recycle the most material. Spurring
these efforts are student organizations such as GAEA (Global
Awareness of Environmental Activity) and the Green Team.
Their energy brought the National Teach-in on Climate Change
to campus in February, and sent a video letter to congress.
"Colleges are breeding grounds for alternative research, espe-
cially WPI," says Green Team member Scott Guzman '09, who
represents students on the President's Task Force on Sustain-
ability. They are even changing the hue of April's traditional
Quad Fest, which coincides with Earth Day. "This year it
will be brought to you by the color green," Guzman says.
As a student in WPI's Power the
World class, one of the Great
Problems Seminars, Kyle Bartosik
'12 joined his peers during project
presentation day. His team project,
"Hydrogen Powered Vehicle:
The Case for Hydrogen Internal
Combustion," was one of 50 that
explored aspects of sustainable
energy and development.
"We're looking critically at the way
we live and work, and encouraging
changes that will have a positive
impact on our campus, on the city
of Worcester, and throughout
— Liz Tomaszewski
Perhaps the least tangible — but most promising —
greening is taking place in WPFs classrooms, project sites,
and laboratories, with student- and faculty research and new
academic initiatives. Last year the Massachusetts legislature
designated WPI as the site of the states Hydrogen and Fuel
Cell Institute and authorized S10 million to spearhead
In April 2008 the university launched an interdiscipli-
nary bachelor of arts degree in Environmental Studies. "The
new BA program in environmental studies complements our
environmental engineering degree, with an emphasis much
more on the human and public policy sides of the ledger,"
says WPI Provost John Orr. "It emphasizes the political and
public policy aspects of human-induced changes to the envi-
ronment, strongly drawing from areas of social science and
providing education in sociological as well as scientific analy-
sis. Of course, this program is conducted within the context
of WPFs long-term strengths on the technological side."
Regardless of major, WPI's project-based curriculum
requires students to do some hands-on work on the complex
challenges of the 21st century. First year students can begin
their education with the Great Problems Seminars, which are
organized around global topics, such as "Power the World"
and "Making Our World," to investigate sustainable energy
and development. At project centers around the globe, WPI
teams have been addressing these issues for decades. This year,
an analysis of greenhouse gas emissions at cafeterias in Lyngby-
Taarbsek, Denmark, was a nominee for the 2008 President's
IQP Award. Closer to home, project teams have also devel-
oped tools to track and reduce greenhouse gases and monitor
electric usage in campus dorms and academic buildings. In
the larger local community, they assisted the town of South-
bridge, Mass., with its municipal sustainability planning, and
WPI students were critically involved in the city's first major
wind turbine installation at Worcester's Holy Name Central
Catholic Junior Senior High School.
"This is an exciting time to be involved in the sustain-
ability effort in the WPI community," Tomaszewski says.
"The momentum is really building for WPI as a model of
the sustainable campus and the leader of sustainability in
our communitv." D
o one can argue that the interests and occupations of WPI
alumni are vast and wide-ranging. Yet among our graduates
exists a common thread that weaves itself from one generation
to the next. In diverse industries around the globe, WPI alumni
are engaged in important, thought-provoking work that will
shape our future and impact the world in ways unimaginable.
On the pages that follow, Transformations offers a glimpse into
the lives of a select few graduates whose efforts and successes
exemplify this notion — researching a cure for cancer, improving
health care, finding sustainable solutions to environmental
crises, to name a few. Together, it's quite an influence.
Every day. Around the world. This is the important work we do.
By Michael I. Cohen
Biology continues to astound, as discoveries
at the cellular and molecular levels illuminate
the elegant complexity of living things. Across
many fields, WPI alumni are advancing this
science and translating new knowledge into
therapies and technologies that help diag-
nose, treat, and even cure disease.
Bruce Minsky '77
Tuesday. 3:40 p.m.
Each year colorectal cancer strikes 150,000 people
in the United States. Until very recently, the standard of care
for those patients was surgery to remove the tumor, followed by
chemotherapy and radiation to kill any lingering cancer cells.
That approach has saved many lives, but also has left many
people with permanent colostomies and the impact on their
lifestyle that entails. In 2004, however, the standard of care
changed, because of research led by Bruce Minsky '77.
"Our first principle in medicine is to do no harm. So
when something is working, people are rightly apprehensive
about introducing a new therapy," Minsky says. "But over
the course of many years treating patients and studying new
therapies, we believed that we could do better."
After earning his BS in biology at WPI, Minksy went on
to the University of Massachusetts Medical School. He then
trained in Boston at New England Deaconess Hospital and
the Joint Center for Radiation Therapy, an affiliate of Harvard
Medical School, where he specialized in radiation oncology
and gastrointestinal cancers.
In 1986 he moved to New York to take a position at the
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, where he'd stay for
20 years, treating patients and directing clinical trials. "The
type of chemotherapy and radiation we used 20 years ago was
much less sophisticated than it is today," Minsky says. "Part
of my work at Sloan-Kettering was to run clinical trials to
evaluate new therapies and new combinations of therapies."
In the course of that research, Minsky developed a hypo-
thesis — would patients with colorectal cancers, particularly rectal
cancers, do better by reversing the standard of care? Instead of
surgery first, what if patients were treated with radiation and
chemotherapy before the surgeon removed the tumor?
"This took a considerable amount of convincing and
required a change in thinking among surgeons, because they
believed reversing the treatment would make the surgery more
difficult," Minsky says. "In fact, it turned out to be the opposite."
Surgeons weren't the only ones wary of changing the
standard of care. Patients facing life-and-death decisions would
almost always opt for the proven therapy, even if the side effects
were severe. "We had trouble randomizing patients into clinical
trials for the new therapy, which is understandable," Minsky says.
In time, however, with evidence mounting from Minsky's
research, a large-scale randomized clinical trial was launched in
Germany, testing the standard of care against the new approach.
The results were conclusive. The combination of radiation and
chemotherapy before surgery significantly reduced tumor sizes,
Transformations \ Winter 2009 21
the cellular and molecular levels. We want to understand how <
function so we can engineer them, from the inside out, to produce
a desired output/ 7
so when the surgeons went in, they had to remove less tissue,
thereby preserving a functional organ in many more patients.
"The new standard reduced the number of colostomies by
half," Minsky says. "That has a dramatic impact on the
quality of life for those patients."
In 2004, Minsky's approach became the recognized
standard of care, worldwide, for treating colorectal cancer.
That same year, Minsky received an honorary doctorate from
Friedrich-Alexander University in Erlangen, Germany, in
recognition of his contributions to the field, documented
in his over 300 published medical journal articles about the
treatment of gastrointestinal cancers. "I didn't know when
I started this line of research that it would ultimately result
in these advances," Minsky says. "It was really just about
asking a simple question — can we do better?"
It's a question that continues to drive Minsky's passion
in health care today, only now on an even larger scale. Last
January, he was appointed chief quality officer for the
University of Chicago Medical Center. (He was also named
associate dean for clinical quality in the Biological Sciences
Division and professor of radiation and cellular oncology.)
In his new role, Minsky is charged with nothing less than
improving every aspect of patient care at the hospital and its
associated medical offices and clinics. "I'm very excited about
this new challenge," he says. "I hope to have a positive impact
on an even wider range of medicine and patients."
As the founding director of the Institute for Cellular
Engineering at the University of Massachusetts Amherst,
Susan Moser Roberts '92 is both a scientist and a teacher.
In her lab, she's engineering plant cells to produce life-
saving drugs. At the university, she's launched a new program
to train graduate students in the rapidly expanding field of
cellular engineering. Her goal is simple: to improve people's
health and quality of life. "Our approach is the integration
of life sciences and engineering at the cellular and molecular
levels," Roberts says. "We want to understand how cells
function so we can engineer them, from the inside out, to
produce a desired output."
Roberts focuses much of her own research on the drug
paclitaxel, commonly known by the brand name Taxol,
which is one of the most potent anti-cancer drugs in use
today. Taxol kills cancer cells and shrinks tumors by block-
ing the malignant cells' ability to reproduce. The drug is
also being explored as a possible treatment for Alzheimer's
disease and is used in coating heart stents.
While the demand for Taxol is very high, the supply is
limited. In fact, when Taxol was first discovered in the bark
of the Pacific Yew tree in the 1960s, the species was at risk
of being clear-cut into extinction because it takes three 100-
year-old yews, on average, to make enough Taxol to treat just
one cancer patient. Since then, Taxol has been synthesized
from yew cell cultures grown in laboratories, but that process
22 Transformations \ Winter 2009
still does not yield enough material to satisfy all the research
and clinical needs. Roberts hopes to overcome that problem
by engineering yew cells to produce more Taxol. "We work
with cell cultures generated from yew tree embryos," she says.
"The cells we utilize in our processes are undifferentiated and
can be considered stem cells of the plant world."
Roberts has developed new methods for growing yew cells
in culture and for identifying the cells that are overachievers,
producing much more Taxol than other cells. Roberts has also
identified several genes that appear to regulate the cellular
machinery that produces Taxol. "If we can understand how
the biosynthetic pathway in the cell works, we can engineer
it effectively so that cells produce higher levels of Taxol,"
Roberts says. "We've honed in on two steps in the Taxol bio-
synthetic pathway that we think are particularly important
and are working on developing engineered cells through
targeting those steps."
Roberts is also developing a new technology that helps
mammalian cells live and grow in culture and
in the body by encapsulating them in materials
that improve oxygen delivery to those cells.
The novel process, for example, may help keep
insulin-producing islet cells viable for extended
time periods, which would enable implantation
into patients with diabetes, potentially reducing
the need for glucose monitoring and insulin
injections for these patients. "Diabetes has
touched my family, so its always been an inter-
est of mine," she says. "But what really drives
me is to work on projects that are relevant to
improving human health for all."
At WPI, Roberts majored in chemical
engineering with a minor in biomedical engi-
neering. She went on to earn a PhD in chem-
ical engineering at Cornell and then joined the
faculty at UMass Amherst, where she is now
an associate professor of chemical engineering.
While at UMass, Roberts saw the need
for an enhanced educational experience for
graduate students interested in the interface of
engineering and life sciences. She also wanted
to encourage her colleagues to do more inter-
disciplinary, project-based research initiatives —
the model that shed thrived on at WPI.
In 2005 Roberts launched the Institute
for Cellular Engineering, which has grown to
include faculty from 10 academic departments
and research programs at UMass, working
together on cellular engineering projects with
applications in clean energy, pharmaceuticals,
and the environment. In September 2007, the
institute received a $3 million grant from the
National Science Foundation to establish a grad-
uate education program in cellular engineering.
"The institute has been an incredible spark for initiating
new collaborations among faculty," Roberts says. "And to see
the graduate students working in the labs, doing great things.
is so rewarding. It's really all coming together."
When researchers from the famed Institute of Applied
Physics at the Russian Academy of Sciences came to the
United States in the mid 1990s to commercialize their new
medical imaging technology, they turned to Paul Amazeen
'64 (MS), 71 (PhD) for help.
This was no surprise. By that time, Amazeen was a well-
known leader, innovator, and entrepreneur in the medical
device and imaging fields. For more than two decades he'd
led research and development efforts and built new business
models around several medical technologies at companies
both large and small.
Trained as an electrical engineer, Amazeen's graduate
work at WPI was the basis for a product developed to
analyze cardiac arrhythmias and identify patients at high
risk for a heart attack. He helped engineer Raytheon's early
program in nuclear medicine. He crafted the business plan
and launched General Electrics first three ultrasound imag-
ing systems. So when the Russian technology came to the
Cleveland Clinic for evaluation, Amazeen was asked to review
it and advise on its technical capabilities and its potential
commercial viability. He ended up founding a company to
bring the new technology to market.
"I tested their prototype and I could see pretty quickly
that this was for real," Amazeen says. "It was an important
new technology and I wanted to help develop it into a
product that could fill a clinical need."
Amazeen partnered with Felix I. Feldchtein, PhD, one
of the Russian scientists who'd invented the new imaging
technology, and became the founding president of the com-
pany now called Imalux. The company's lead product is
called Niris — a system that uses optical coherence tomogra-
phy (OCT), which, simply put, bounces light off tissues to
create detailed images of very small elements of those tissues.
The Niris system works in real time, scanning tissue and
instantly displaying images on a bedside monitor, allowing a
physician to see the telltale signs of cancer, or guiding a sur-
geon's scalpel to make sure the parts of diseased tissues are
removed, while leaving healthy tissue in place. "This is not
just a better version of an existing technology or product,"
Amazeen says. "OCT is something completely new. We see
things that no other imaging technology in clinical use
today can see."
At first glance the Niris system is reminiscent of an
ultrasound machine that uses sound waves, emitted from a
probe at the end of a flexible cord, to image parts of the
body Niris also has a probe at the end of a cord, but instead
of sound waves it emits a pulsating beam of near-infrared
light from a tiny diode. As the light is scattered and reflected
back off the tissue, it is collected by the probe and processed
by the system's software to generate detailed images of very
small sections of tissue.
The scale and resolution of the images produced by
OCT is much finer than ultrasound. Using Niris, physicians
can see the microscopic abnormalities that indicate cancerous
or pre-cancerous tissues. And while ultrasound is typically
used externally, with the probe moved over a person's skin,
the Niris system is used internally. Its probe is small enough
the patient, managing projects so we can get them approved
to be sent through an endoscope's tube, to look at internal
structures like the bladder, esophagus, or cervix.
"We see tissue structures that can't be seen with the naked
eye," Amazeen says. "Without this new imaging modality, the
only way to test for these abnormalities is to biopsy the tissue
and look at it under a microscope. That can take days, even
weeks, all the while with the patient worried that he or she
may have cancer. With our system, in about half a second,
the image is on the screen. It's an optical biopsy."
The Niris system is now being used in clinical trials at
the Cleveland Clinic, Johns Hopkins Hospital, Massachusetts
General Hospital, and other leading research centers. "Our
clinical data is looking extremely good. We're able to find the
boundaries of cancer, guide the surgery, then evaluate after
recovery," Amazeen says. "We're about a year away from a
full-scale launch, with significant publications showing the
effectiveness of this system."
It is a cruel irony in the battle against HIV/ AIDS that
state-of-the-art therapies known to be effective are often not
available, or are difficult to administer, in the areas of the
world hit hardest by the disease.
After earning her BS in biotech-
nology, Romiya Glover Barry '04 joined
a team working to overcome an impor-
tant element of that treatment gap. She
accepted a position in the research and
development laboratory at PointCare
Technologies, the Marlborough, Mass.,
company where she interned during
her senior year at WPI.
PointCare developed a portable
blood analysis system designed for use
in rural clinics treating AIDS patients.
Barry's job was to help optimize and
expand the functionality of that system.
"The challenge is to have a self-con-
tained product that will work under
conditions you'll find in remote areas,
and that will provide results right
away, while the patient is still in the
clinic," Barry says.
To treat people infected with HIV,
the virus that leads to AIDS, physicians
must closely monitor the number of
CD4 immune-system cells in the
bloodstream. Based on that cell count,
the clinician can safely start and man-
age the cocktail of drugs that suppress
the virus and delay the onset of AIDS.
For most people in developed countries, waiting a few
days for lab results before starting treatment is not a big issue.
"In remote areas of Africa, Asia, and other parts of the devel-
oping world, it's a problem," Barry says. "Patients will often
walk for many hours to get to a clinic. So to tell people that
they have to come back in a day or in a week for their test
results before treatment can start is not realistic."
To remedy that problem, PointCare's technology can
measure CD4 cells in a blood sample in minutes, giving the
clinic staff results while the patient is still present. It's an auto-
mated system, with everything needed for the analysis built
into one console that sits on a tabletop. "It's a very different
approach to medical technology. It's not about frills, or putting
in all the bells and whistles. You have to design it so that it
is affordable and has what it needs to be effective in these
remote areas," Barry says. "The system can even be powered
by a solar panel, or a car battery, if necessary."
At PointCare, Barry worked as a chemist to improve
the reagents and processes used in the diagnostic system. She
helped develop additional capabilities for the system— new
blood tests beyond the CD4 assay that would give medical
teams a more complete picture of a patient's condition. Barry
also traveled to AIDS clinics in Trinidad and Barbados to set
up the PointCare system and train the local staff. "It was a
great experience to get into the field, and to work with the
patients and the physicians to get this technology into action,"
During her time at PointCare, Barry continued her edu-
cation and in 2007 she earned an MS in clinical investigation
at the MGH Institute of Health Professions in Boston. She's
now applying that training, and her experience, to her current
position as an in-vitro diagnostics clinical monitor specialist
at Instrumentation Laboratory in Lexington, Mass. "I work
with physicians in the United States and in Europe to identify
clinical needs," she says, "then try to bring new products to
market to meet those needs in the area of blood clotting
On any given week Barry may be working at a hospital
site monitoring a clinical trial of a new diagnostic test, and
then analyzing the data from that trial. Or, she may be back
at the lab in Lexington working with the scientific team to
refine their product development or to prepare for a submis-
sion to the FDA for approval of a new device. Other days,
she'll brainstorm with the company's marketing team on how
best to inform and educate the clinicians and technicians who
will use the new products Instrumentation Laboratory is
about to launch. "I like being one step from the lab bench,
and one step from the patient," Barry says, "managing pro-
jects so we can get them approved and into the clinic to
help people." D
"Romiya Glover Barry was photographed at Instrumentation Laboratory in Lexington, Mass. She was interviewed
via phone from Paris, while traveling for work.
Trans for m at i o n s \ Winter 2009 25
By Eileen McCluskey
Wind, Waste, Water, and WPI Alumni
Thousands of wind turbines send power from the broad prairies of North and South Dakota to the high-rises
of New York City, providing enough electricity to keep the Big Apple humming. Meanwhile, waste becomes a
thing of the past when the by-products of farms, lumber mills, and construction sites are no longer dumped into
landfills but instead burn cleanly, producing heat, air-conditioning, and pure, distilled water and ice. Such
scenarios could become reality in the next few years, thanks to the vision and perseverance of two WPI alumni.
Andrew Stern '92 wears a lot of hats, but all of his titles
and organizational affiliations boil down to one goal: to
implement alternative energy projects that demonstrate suc-
cessful solar, wind, and water power, and other sustainable
solutions to solve the energy crisis.
In 2006 he founded New England Windpower, a private,
for-profit environmental consulting firm, and co-founded the
nonprofit Action for Clean Energy. As well, he's an associate
with Maxis Capital, a Boston-based private technology buyout
group, where he serves as the firm's clean energy expert. With
all three organizations, Stern is involved in bringing wind
power to various communities.
At New England Windpower, he's working with Cape
Cod Community College on a wind turbine bid for the
school. At Maxis, Stern is consulting with 18 Native American
tribes in North and South Dakota who are examining the
fiscal feasibility of a 2,000-unit wind farm in the two states.
The electricity generated by this whirling collection would
be enough to power a major metropolis, such as Manhattan,
which consumes nearly 12 million MW/h annually. Stern hopes
to see the tribes' project begin within two years. "The oppor-
tunities for wind power are vast in the Dakotas," he says.
Meanwhile, as director of Action for Clean Energy, Stern
leads education and outreach efforts to help communities
replace nonrenewable energy sources with sustainable, clean
supplies like wind. For one such project, he works closely with
town officials from Hull, Mass., to scope out a hydrokinetic
tidal turbine power project. Hydrokinetic turbines, a relatively
new entry to the sustainable energy field, are known to leave
a very small environmental footprint. The water turbines pro-
duce electricity using coastal tides and currents, an energy
source that can be relied on 24/7/365. "And water is about a
thousand times denser than wind," Stern notes.
With broad support among town residents and leaders,
it is likely that within two years, four hydrokinetic turbines
will be placed in Hull Gut, a deep-water channel off the
coast. Together, these four units would produce one to two
megawatts for the town, further shaving its reliance on con-
Although he's based in eastern Massachusetts, Stern's
projects have global impact. Through Action for Clean Energy,
Stern brings officials to Hull from as near as Massachusetts
and as far as South Africa. He inspires and instructs visitors
about the wind turbines and discusses other alternative energy
and fuel projects with his guests.
"Leaders from Vermont, Jamaica, Haiti, and other places
are trying to wrap their minds around how they can use clean
technologies to solve their pressing energy problems," he says.
As a result of discussions with Stern, Haiti is considering
a carbon-friendly biofuel project. The flat island nation could
be an ideal location for growing Jatropha, a nonfood crop that
generates an easily crushed nut for a dense, oil-based energy
source. The million-acre project under consideration would
employ thousands of residents. Refuse from the harvests
could also be used by locals for heating and cooking.
With Haiti's interest piqued, Stern turned to WPI pro-
fessor of chemical engineering Robert Thompson, who in late
2008 brought in Stephanie Kavrakis '09 to study the yields
from several Jatropha oils, as part of her MQP. Kavrakis will
also assess the impacts that a biofuel industry could have in
Haiti "given the available land, the typical oil yields per acre
per year, and the biodiesel yields of the conversion process,"
Power to the people
The people of Hull have known Stern since 1997, when
he became a driving force in an ongoing community move-
ment to bring wind power onto the municipal utility grid
(hullwind.org). Stern consulted with the town on the con-
ception, development, and construction of the peninsular
town's ambitious project to purchase two wind turbines.
Over the next 10 years, Hull Wind 1 and 2 became
spinning realities on windy hills, providing over 10 percent
of the town's annual electricity needs. The proud town has
Transformations \ Winter 2009 27
earned numerous state and national awards for its greening
efforts, including the 2007 Wind Power Pioneer Award from
the U.S. Department of Energy for "advancing the use of
wind power in a coastal community."
Hull Wind 1 (rated power of 660 kilowatts) cost the
town close to $700,000. In its first year, it produced 1,597
megawatt hours (approximately three percent of the annual
51,000 MW/h that Hull Municipal purchases). After paying
for the town's street lighting, sales of this energy reportedly
exceeded $150,000. Hull Wind 2 (rated at 1.8 MW) cost
$3 million and came on the grid in 2006. During that year,
it produced 4,088 MW/h, about eight percent of the town's
Heartened by these successes, Hull began laying plans to
install four wind turbines offshore to boost the town's wind
production to 1 5 MW, or enough to supply all of the town's
electricity annually. As of late 2008, Stern reports, town offi-
cials were examining the new turbines' financial feasibility.
"Projects like the Hull wind and tidal turbines help
demonstrate that clean energy can be done," he says. "But it's
not the whole picture. We also need government incentives
and policies that reward alternative energy industries. When
the government gives clear signals that clean energy is a prior-
ity, we'll see real and lasting progress toward a future we can
all live in."
Bernie Podberesky '58 works enthusiastically to solve
a major problem — or two or three. His interests lie in trans-
forming biomass and other waste streams into clean power.
"We see our technology as an ideal way to eliminate
some difficult issues in a number of applications worldwide,"
says Podberesky, president of AgriPower Inc. He has held
this position since 2004, but he has been involved with the
company's predecessors since 1998.
AgriPower's biomass-to-energy technology produces
clean combined heat and power, and its latest units are rated
at 300 kW per hour. The company's closely guarded technol-
ogy eliminates two common problems associated with using
biomass for fuel. The entire air-to-air electric power genera-
tion system is contained in an easily transportable, modular
mini-turbine, making it easy and inexpensive to transport
the units to places where they are needed. And AgriPower's
patented design — in which the biomass fuel combustion
products are separated from the gas turbine cycle — greatly
reduces costly and time-consuming problems with turbine
maintenance and operation.
The AgriPower unit, a transportab
into clean energy.
rts unwanted biomass
These waste-to-energy workhorses use virtually free or
inexpensive biomass and other materials for fuel. Everything
from coffee bean shells, corn cobs, and nuisance plants, to
furniture, wood chips, and sawdust, to construction debris —
even that containing paint and creosote — can be tossed into
an AgriPower hopper (once cut into chips) and burned, pro-
ducing clean energy. For items such as finished woods, utility
poles, or railroad ties, toxins can be scrubbed and set safely
aside with an add-on scrubber. If distilled water or ice are
required, a co-generation converter addresses this need.
"When we started the enterprise, we immediately saw
the market for replacing diesel generators," says Podberesky,
pointing to the fact that most of the world's island nations,
and many other remote rural areas, rely on diesel fuel as their
main source of electricity. "There are several hundred thou-
sand diesel-run machines operating globally, and although we
wouldn't be appropriate for all of those applications, that is
still a very large pool of potential customers. Our units are
so portable, versatile, easy to operate, and low-maintenance,
they could really help out in many of those areas.
"We've also identified applications where companies face
waste streams with costly tipping fees," Podberesky continues,
referring to the price of dumping refuse at landfills. "In these
situations, burning waste is quite advantageous, especially
when you can also generate your own power, and sell electri-
city back to the grid. So what started as a niche market has
Small- to medium-sized lumber mills in remote areas
could also use the units. "The hot air stream could dry the
lumber, replacing natural gas kiln drying," says Podberesky.
"The rest of the energy could supplant some of the mill's
Podberesky is proud of AgriPower's technology assessment
regimen. Rigorously testing units for four years, the earlier,
80-kilowatt-hour unit was proven at a lumber mill, where
wood chips and sawdust were burned as fuel. AgriPower also
tested gas flows and heat transfer dynamics in its design and
manufacturing facility near Sacramento, Calif.
"We see our technology as an ideal way to eliminate some difficult
issues in a number of applications worldwide."
— Bernie Podberesky
28 Transformations \ Winter 2009
After accounting for the energy used in running itself,
each of the company's new 300-kW-hour units produce 270
kW per hour. With fuel prices at upward of three dollars per
gallon, the unit pays for itself in less than 18 months.
"These fuel savings," Podberesky says, "don't include the
considerable value of the co-generation and thermal energy
the unit produces, nor the carbon credits it could generate
annually from using biomass as a fuel."
Fueling the Spirit
Whether he's troubleshooting with the research, design, and
manufacturing team, or meeting with investment bankers or
potential customers — state and federal agencies, waste man-
agement companies, consumer paper goods manufacturers,
energy mills, and others — Podberesky is running hard.
"We see a high degree of interest," he says, "but with the
current financial crisis, deals are scarce. We're actively seeking
additional financing sources to help us move into commercial
Like many visionaries, Podberesky would like to see
more than just his own project succeed. "If we could get the
AgriPower units to all of the villages and towns in Africa that
desperately need them," he says, "the residents could grow
their own fuel and power their villages. This kind of change
could really build local economies across the world, and do
it cleanly." D
Bernie Podberesky '58
Tuesday, 9 a.m.
Los Altos. Calif.
WPI graduates have a history of finding creative ways to use their educations
to benefit the world. Among the most challenging — and rewarding — directions
alumni have taken involve safety. Peter Belli no '08, Tom McAloon '76, and
Ross Tsantoulis '07 have ventured far past what most would consider a comfort
zone. Whether protecting the Alaska pipeline against fire, establishing sanitary
water conditions in developing countries, or helping rebuild Afghanistan, they
have found satisfaction in making this planet a less dangerous place to live.
30 Transformations \ Winter 2009
"The pipeline is a city among itself. Being part of this great engineering
marvel is like working with a celebrity. It is such a great feat of civil
engineering and mechanical engineering/'
Peter Bellino '08
Saturday, 10 a.m.
Peter Bellino's desk may be in an office in downtown
Anchorage, but his responsibilities stretch on for miles — 800
miles, in fact. From Prudhoe Bay, on Alaska's North Slope,
to Valdez, the northernmost ice-free port in North America,
the four-foot-wide Alaska pipeline zigzags its way through
America's largest state, carrying oil destined for far-flung
consumers. Twelve pump stations interrupt its route, places
where fire is always a danger. Bellino's job is to make sure
that disaster doesn't strike. As one of only two fire systems
engineers for Alyeska — the service company for the Trans
Alaska Pipeline System — he works to maintain safety in one
of the engineering wonders of the modern world.
"The pipeline is a city among itself," Bellino says, speak-
ing by phone one snowy Saturday in November, six months
after arriving in Alaska. "Being part of this great engineering
marvel is like working with a celebrity. It is such a great feat
of civil engineering and mechanical engineering."
As a 2008 WPI graduate with a BS degree in civil engi-
neering, Bellino knows exactly how impressive the pipeline is.
As a fire protection engineer who will complete his master's
next year, he also realizes the extent of the hazards. Shortly
after the pipeline opened in 1977, the project suffered its
worst tragedy — a fatal explosion and fire at Pump Station 8
near Fairbanks. During his time with AJyeska, Bellino has
had to investigate an incident in Valdez, in which a 15-foot
fireball erupted and the flame detectors didn't go off. The
solution: to relocate and increase the number of detectors.
Bellino also oversees testing of a variety of detection systems —
from gas and smoke to thermal, which he prefers in a state
prone to wildfires. He studies the advantages of different fire-
inerting agents. He manages the paperwork to comply with
the guidelines of 40 regulatory agencies.
Since childhood, Bellino has had a fascination with fire.
"I hate to admit this," he recalls, "but I always liked fire. I
love campfires." In the third grade, when his parents were
building a new house in Deerfield, Mass., he would make
campfires using scrap wood left at the job site. "I would place
the wood in different configurations to start the fire and watch
how the flames and smoke would swirl around the pieces of
wood," he says. "It was very fascinating to a young mind."
Years later, his very first week at WPI, he discovered his
ultimate career path. At new student orientation, fire protec-
tion engineering professor David Lucht showed a video called
"Fire Power" about what happens to a house when it catches
fire. "I set my heart on that," Bellino says, adding that since
the department did not offer an undergraduate degree, he
decided to pursue his love of building as a civil engineering
major. He did his IQP on response times of fire departments
in Plymouth County, and had a summer job with RJA, where
he was exposed to the consulting side of the fire protection
industry. Through WPI's Advanced Distance Learning Net-
work, he has deepened his knowledge with graduate courses
in fire protection.
Bellino is grateful for the preparation he has received.
At any moment, one of the Alyeska technicians — who go up
and down the pipeline checking for potential problems —
could report a malfunctioning fire panel. Or an actual fire
could break out, as it did in Valdez. In the process of reducing
the number of pump stations from 12 to five over the next
couple of years, Alyeska will require evolving strategies to
ensure safe and smooth operations. After more than half a
year on the job, as fall was quickly turning to winter, Bellino
was still excited — about climbing mountains, cross-country
skiing, and meeting challenges extending from one end of
the state to another.
Transformations \ Winter 2 00 9 31
"Just because you have a good technical idea that works in the U.S.,
it is not usually relevant in a third-world or post-conflict setting/ 7
For most Americans, finding Timor Leste (East Timor)
on a map would be a fairly arduous task. Tom McAloon has
taken on a far tougher challenge: In November 2008, he began
working in the Southeast Asian island nation on a rural water
supply project sponsored by the U.S. Agency for International
Development (USAID). The one-time Portuguese colony in
the Indonesian archipelago — which became the first new sov-
ereign state of the 21st century — has water conditions that are
among the worst in Asia. Only half the population has access
to a water supply. Basic sanitation extends to barely a third of
Remarkably, McAloon is unfazed by such dismal statis-
tics. Even more amazingly, he regards his current assignment
as a chance not to pity, but to learn about others and to col-
laborate. "We who are lucky enough to be from prosperous
and functioning countries need to work together with people
in the developing world and listen to them," he says. "We do
not have all the answers for them and neither do they. But
together, with luck and perseverance, we can move forward."
A 1976 WPI graduate with a BS in civil engineering,
McAloon points to the idealistic environmental movement
of the '60s and 70s as an influence. But now, having spent
years in places from Azerbaijan and Kosovo to Maldives, he
acknowledges, "My views have tempered quite a bit, and a
strong dose of realism is called for when working in develop-
ing countries." Even though he did not pursue international
affairs until well after college, "I credit WPI with piquing
my interest in the balance between straight engineering and
human behavior," he notes. "The WPI Plan was a big draw
for me — an attempt to cultivate the Renaissance Man and
Woman. I'm not surprised that I ended up doing something
that really requires the ability to look beyond the technical
to try to understand (and respect) why people do what they
do — even when it results in terrible things like child mortal-
ity, illness, and short lives."
After almost two decades in New Hampshire, applying
his engineering training to water-related ventures, McAloon
faced a very different set of obstacles when he took an overseas
position in 1994 with the International Rescue Committee in
the Republic of Georgia. Instead of overseeing watershed pro-
tection or sewer extensions in a peaceful, organized region,
he had to confront the chaos that follows war. He managed
a staff of two Nepalese engineers and a team of Georgian
engineers to contract out installation of basic water supply,
sewer, roofing, windows, doors, and electrical wiring in
urban buildings that housed 100 to 1,000 people.
Subsequent positions in a number of trouble spots —
including Afghanistan, Kosovo, and Iraq — made McAloon
painfully aware of the complex causes of water and sanitation
problems. "It is almost always not as simple as building a
new bit of infrastructure," he explains. "Just because you have
a good technical idea that works in the U.S., it is not usually
relevant in a third-world or post-conflict setting." In Timor
Leste, as in many of the places he and his wife have lived,
he cannot assume elements that Americans take for granted,
such as a well-functioning judicial system that can enforce
contracts, good communications, roads, or "a generally
accepted belief that a person has to pay for certain things like
water and electricity." Several years ago, McAloon returned
to Georgia on a project for the national electric distribution
system, implementing a metering program for the substations,
to determine when major thefts of power were occurring.
"I feel blessed that I have had the opportunity to live
and work in different parts of the world," he says. "Most
important, I've received far more wisdom and learning than
I've been able to give."
3 2 Transformations \ Winter 2 009
Somewhere within the forts of his childhood backyard
and the Lego city that sprang up in his bedroom, Ross
Tsantoulis discovered a route to his future. Now, almost two
years since he received his BS in civil engineering from WPI,
he is building structures that not only satisfy his imagination,
but also promise to improve conditions in a country wracked
by war. Based in Kabul, Afghanistan, since March 2008,
Tsantoulis works for Tetra Tech as a project engineer creating
infrastructure to stabilize rural development in a USAID-
sponsored program. On any given day, he could be tackling
half a dozen assignments — from roads and
bridges to dormitories and solutions for
water storage. He does architectural design,
drafting, management, whatever is required
to bring these efforts to fruition.
Numerous hardships confront Tsantoulis
and his colleagues, but he minimizes these
and celebrates the strengths of the people he
meets. "I am fortunate to work with brilliant
Afghan engineers, who continue to teach me
to appreciate the differences between con-
struction practices in the United States and
those of Afghanistan," he says. "Here, we are
limited by the small number of resources
available, such as clean water and electricity.
It's common that a five-story building is built
with no consideration of seismic loads, and is
constructed with small batches of concrete
mixed by hand on the ground."
Because of the remote locations of proj-
ects, poor roads, and threats of insurgency,
Tsantoulis usually remains in Kabul, inter-
acting with the Afghan engineers who travel
to the sites. When he was employed by Tetra
Tech's Manchester, N.H., office — not far
from his family's home in Hooksett —
Tsantoulis was able to go onsite to assess
conditions and "get my hands dirty and not
just sit back and look at the design from my
computer screen." In his current situation,
he finds himself especially grateful for the
knowledge of stone masonry cement and
concrete he gained in his materials class with
civil and environmental engineering professor
Tahar El-Korchi. CEE associate professor
Leonard Albano's design of steel structures
class was a great challenge at the time, but
has served Tsantoulis well.
These days, much of his learning takes
place during encounters with Afghan individ-
uals. Rashad, 15, flies kites in the afternoons
at a popular hill in town, but then works well
past midnight on studies that he believes can
take him to a university in America. He
would like to return as an engineer to help rebuild his coun-
try. There's also Omar, an engineer who has lived through
the Russians, the Mujahideen, and the Taliban, is deaf in one
ear, and yet radiates joy. "It is people like Omar, the humble,
selfless, hardworking, devoted people that bring hope to sta-
bilizing Afghanistan." For his part, Tsantoulis is studying the
Dari language, so that he can establish deeper relationships
with local shopkeepers and others he is getting to know.
Already, he has realized that there is more to building than
bricks and mortar. D
Trans formations \ Winter 2009 3 3
The Voices of
By Joan Killough-Miller
The Important Work We Do hits close to home — in WPI's backyard, even. Barbara Haller '83
and Patrick Spencer '05 are just two of the many alumni whose work makes the Worcester
community a better place to live, work, and play.
Barbara Haller doesn't fit anyone's stereotype of a
career politician. A plainspoken, plainly dressed grandmother,
she is a former college dropout, VISTA volunteer, 60s activist,
and blues bar owner. Her resume also includes 25 years as an
engineer with National Grid. For four terms Haller has repre-
sented District 4 on the Worcester City Council. It is consid-
ered the city's most distressed district, with the highest rate
of poverty and crime.
"Many people get into politics because they want to
be politicians," she says. They may be knowledgeable about
fund-raising and voter data, and they're used to rubbing
elbows with the movers and shakers, but they lack experience
with inner-city issues. Without that background, "you don't
know what an SRO is. [Single room occupancy, i.e., low-rent
rooming house. — Ed] You don't know how prostitution oper-
ates on your street. You don't know how kids have to walk
the streets surrounded by drug trafficking and other crime,"
she says. "I may not have had the political competencies at
first, but I had grassroots experience."
The daughter of a mechanical engineer and a homemak-
er, Haller rejected the conformity of suburbia and sought a
bigger world. She initially studied sociology, wanting to make
a difference, but left college to do community organizing in
inner-city Chicago. She embraced the 1960s counter-culture,
and has vivid memories of the riots that followed the assassi-
nation of Martin Luther King Jr. and the demonstrations
that rocked the 1968 Democratic convention. For a time,
she lived in Arkansas and helped run a farm school collective
there to help youths at risk of serving prison time.
"It never occurred to me to become an engineer until
I was an adult raising two children with a husband who was
unemployed," she says. "My father was an engineer. My
brother was an engineer. If I had been male, I would have
been an engineer a lot sooner."
She still remembers her father's reaction to her plans.
"It will destroy your marriage," he declared. "It will make
you too independent. You won't need a husband anymore."
"It was an Aha!' moment for me," she says. Her parents
had encouraged her to get an education, but only so she would
have something to fall back on, in case her marriage failed.
They never expected her to stake out a "real" career.
After studying at the former Worcester Junior College,
she transferred to WPI to earn a bachelor's degree in electrical
engineering. It wasn't easy being female at WPI in the early
1980s, and as an older student with children, she felt even
more out of place. "I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown
the whole time I was at WPI," she says. It took discipline to
stay ahead of the curve in her classes. The personal and aca-
demic challenges built confidence, which she carried into
her career with National Grid. She retired as supervisor of
metering in 2005.
As a homeowner in Worcester's troubled Main South area,
she joined with neighbors to organize crime watch groups and to
pressure the city government and police to take action. When
absentee landlords turned their backs on drug houses and let
abandoned properties turn into dumping grounds, she led pro-
tests to embarrass them into taking responsibility for screening
tenants and maintaining properties.
For a time, Haller was part-owner of Gilrein's, a Main Street
nightclub around the corner from her home. As a small business
owner, she was invited to serve on the City Manager's Advisory
Committee on local redevelopment. She became active to pre-
vent seeing the '60s and '70s repeated, when "urban renewal '
projects turned out to mean "urban removal" of poor residents.
Her conversion from neighborhood activist to politician
came in 2001, when the District 4 incumbent had a mild stroke
and chose not to continue her campaign. Haller agreed to run
in her place, and won. Last November she officially launched
her campaign for a fifth term.
"District 4 magnifies the issues of inner-city living," she
says. "While all the other districts have pockets of poverty and
crime and grime, District 4 is the epitome of all that." The
3 A Transformations \ Winter 2 009
(• (ft What do we need to make our neighborhoods strong?
Those are the issues I am passionate about. ^ ^
Again offers permanent he
and wraparound support service
along with intensive case managemen
to help chronically homeless adults
break the cycle of living in transien
1 shelters or on the streets.
current economic crisis looks worse from where she sits:
"When you're living on the edge already, and the economy
falls out from under you — then you're over the edge."
Over time, she's seen the challenges grow. The demo-
graphics of her constituency show more minorities, immi-
grants, and non-English speakers. There are larger households
with more children, more single-parent families, and more
children being moved from school to school. Her district
has fewer registered voters and the lowest voter turnout of
"Moving forward together" is her slogan. She likes to
remind her colleagues on the council, "If we don't deal with
the problems of the inner city, your neighborhoods are going
to suffer as a result. Leave any part of the city behind, and
you diminish the whole."
Her district borders the WPI campus, and includes the
university's off-campus housing, as well as Elm Park, Becker
College, Clark, and Holy Cross. Although, in her work, she
tends to stress the neediness, she says it's important to cele-
brate the assets. Highland Street and Main Street are among
the liveliest parts of the city, with diverse ethnic markets,
restaurants, and mom-and-pop stores.
"Do we continue to define our inner cities as being
where people in poverty live?" she asks. "We want to change
that and define them as vibrant. This embraces diversity of
all kinds — not just racial, ethnic, and religious, but also eco-
nomic. Many of us — including the 'new urbanites' — want
to participate in the cultural, recreational, and culinary assets
of the city."
During her first campaign, she was caught off guard by
a reporter's question about her platform. "Quality of life," she
stammered. "You know... things like trash, abandoned cars,
"You're running on trash?" the reporter replied, skeptically.
She laughs about it now, but she hasn't wavered on
speaking out on issues that others would like to ignore. "I see
one of Worcester's greatest strengths as its livabiliry. Who's
advocating for that? What do we need to make our neighbor-
hoods strong? Those are the issues I am passionate about,
and I have tried to be a voice for our neighborhoods."
3 6 Transformations | Winter 2009
d w What are the causes of homelessness? Why have previous solutions failed?
How can we address this in a different way? ^ ^
Patrick Spencer was only 16 when tragedy thrust him
into the public eye. "The phone calls started the day after my
father died," recalls the son of Lt. Thomas E. Spencer, one
of six firefighters killed in the 1999 Worcester Cold Storage
warehouse fire. Media coverage spread rapidly, like an out-of-
control fire, spiraling upward until even the president of the
United States was involved. Patrick Spencer moved mechani-
cally through the routines of waking, dressing, and eating,
unable to grasp his loss, knowing he was not ready to grieve.
"I needed to do something," he says. The engineer in
him kicked in, and he took on the task of screening and
logging phone calls for the family, meticulously charting
who required a callback and the details of what they wanted.
Tackling a problem with a systematic approach was just what
he needed; it's what got him through those early days.
Spencer has every reason to hold a grudge — the 1999
fire was ignited by an overturned candle during an altercation
between two homeless people who had taken shelter in the
abandoned building. Yet his reaction has been anything but
vengeful. While many people go out of their way to avoid
contact with the homeless, this civil engineering graduate is
championing a new approach to help them break the cycle
of chronic homelessness. Earlier this year, he helped convert
an old stucco mansion in Worcester to house 14 homeless
Spencer is an upbeat, energetic young man at the start
of his career. He has worked in construction engineering, is
considering pursuing a master's degree through WPI's Fire
Protection Engineering program, and, in the family tradition,
has served on the Paxton Fire Department. He also serves on
the advisory council of Home Again, a Central Massachusetts
nonprofit with a simple motto: Only a home ends homeless-
ness. He has led a team of local contractors and volunteers
in renovations of Home Again's first program site at 62 Elm
Street, Worcester. As a construction engineer, he was able
to find low-cost work-arounds for electrical overloads and
creative solutions to 100-year-old plumbing problems. As
an ordinary citizen, Worcester born and bred, he offers an
important perspective to the board. He's helped to quell the
fear of neighbors who objected to program sites. He's met
with officers of the exclusive nearby Worcester Club to gain
their support. He notes that he showed up at the club, which
has a strict dress code, directly from a construction site,
dressed in work boots and jeans. His mission succeeded, but
he was asked to use the back door on his way out.
Home Again offers permanent housing and wraparound
support services, along with intensive case management, to
help chronically homeless adults break the cycle of living in
transient shelters or on the streets. It's a model that makes
sense to him. At WPI he learned how engineers work back-
ward to analyze a building failure or a fire, then move
forward with strategies for prevention. They want to know
what systems failed, and what changes need to be made. He
asks similar questions about the tragedy that took his father's
life. "How did we get to the point where two people had to
squat in an abandoned building on a December night, with
no heat or light except a candle? What are the causes of
homelessness? Why have previous solutions failed? How can
we address this in a different way?"
He's seen how large emergency shelters can become a
revolving door. "It gets them out of the cold, but it doesn't
address their real needs," he explains. Those needs — which
often include assistance for addiction and mental health
issues — can't be addressed in an impersonal, chaotic
Most of us can't imagine a life on the streets, and
Spencer admits feeling uncomfortable when he first started
visiting shelters. He can even understand the backlash against
the two homeless people who caused the 1 999 warehouse
fire. In the divisive aftermath, it was often repeated that six
fallen heroes had sacrificed their lives in an effort to save a
couple of homeless people.
"When six people die like that," says Spencer, "I think
human nature says, 'Somebody is to blame for this.'" Many
have questioned why the two did not report the fire or make
their whereabouts known.
"I'm not sure I'd be hanging around waiting for the
police to come either," Spencer responds. "What were they
supposed to say? 'Hey, I broke into the building and set it
on fire. I just wanted to tell you there's nobody inside.'
"Honestly, could they have anticipated that six firefight-
ers would die? Hindsight is 20-20," he says. "Don't get me
wrong — it took years for me to develop the right perspective.
It still upsets me sometimes — on Christmas, Father's Day,
and my father's birthday, especially."
Spencer likens his involvement with Home Again to
the zeal of families of cancer victims who run marathons
and work for the cure. He seems to have grasped a message
that was missed by many: that the real enemy is homeless-
ness, not the homeless.
The Lt. Tommy Spencer House, named in memory of
Patrick's father, opened in November 2008. The House will
scale up slowly over the next year to include 14 carefully
selected residents, who pay 30 percent of any income they
receive as rent, and a live-in manager. Spencer will continue
monitoring, with an eye to expanding the best practices to
future program sites. The goal, he notes, is to keep things
"rigid, steady, stable — like you learn in civil engineering." II
Transformations \ Winter 2009 37
Eg ALUMNI CONNECTIONS
Crimson and Gray Goes Green
It's time to rethink how WPI communicates with you.
Consider: During the 2008 fiscal year, the Alumni Relations
Office printed 92,861 invitations, postcards, brochures,
envelopes, and other Reunion and Homecoming materials.
And Alumni Relations is just one small part of the paper
consumption picture at WPI, and an even smaller part nation-
ally. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the
United States uses approximately 85 million tons of paper
and paperboard each year — the average American family uses
the equivalent of a 100-foot-tall Douglas
fir tree in paper and wood products
WPI is working to address
these issues through its sustain-
—^ , . ■ a | ■ ■ ability initiative, a campus-wide
OUoLCliriClLJll I ty effort aimed at encouraging stu-
dents, staff, and faculty to engage
in research and action promoting sus-
tainability on campus and in communities
around the world (see story, page 16). The Alumni Relations
Office is joining the effort, developing a paperless communi-
cations strategy. As a result, you'll be receiving fewer postcard
invitations and more email invitations and notices in the
coming months. By September 2009, we hope to send all of
your event invitations and special notices from the Alumni
Relations Office primarily by email, saving trees and money
on printing and mailing.
In order to be successful, we will need your current
email. If you haven't registered for AlumniConnect, visit
alumniconnect.wpi.edu and follow the instructions for "first-
time log in." To obtain your constituent ID number, contact
the Alumni Relations Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or
508-831-5600. (You'll be prompted to create a username
and password on your first login.)
If you've already registered for AlumniConnect, please
make sure we have your current email address. Alumni who
provide their email addresses for the first time will be regis-
tered to win one of two prize packs of WPI merchandise.
WPI Reunion 2009
Mark your calendars now! All alumni
are welcome to attend Reunion 2009.
Anniversary classes celebrating at Reunion 2009:
1934, 1939, 1944, 1949, 1954, 1959, 1964,
1969, 1974, 1979, 1989, and 1999
Don't let another year go by without
WPI Alumni Association
8-30 a m. - 1 P- m *
Association. Spears »» n* ^ ^^
The schedule of activities
for Reunion 2009 includes...
Thursday, June 4
> Annual Alumni Golf Tournament
Friday, June 5
> Alumni College Keynote Session
> Campus Fair
> New England Clambake
> Casino Night
> 50-Year Associates Dinner
Saturday, June 6
> A Conversation with President
> Reunion Parade
> Alumni Recognition Ceremony
> Class Receptions and Banquets
Sunday, June 7
> Jazz Brunch
> Worcester Tornadoes Baseball Game
> Class of 1959 Remembrance Event
CHECK YOUR MAIL SOON FOR COMPLETE REUNION 2009 REGISTRATION INFORMATION.
Questions? Please call the WPI Alumni Relations Office at 508-831-5600 or log on to alumni.wpi.edu/reunion.
By Connie Horwitz, Assistant Director, Career Development Center
The Important Work You Do
"We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together.
We will restore science to its rightful place, and wield technology's wonders to raise health care's quality and lower its
cost. We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories. And we will transform
our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age. All this we can do. All this we will do."
President Barack Obama, in his inaugural address, may
well have been addressing the WPI community — from the
students and alumni whose career aspirations have no limit, to
the faculty and staff who encourage and teach our students to
find passion in all that they do, to the parents who support
their sons and daughters in all of their endeavors. Everyone's
contributions are important.
So, here's the question: Do you feel that what you are
doing today is important? If the answer is yes, have you let
those who support you know the significance of their work?
Would they agree? Are you documenting your major contri-
butions to your client, family, organization, or community?
In unpredictable times, particularly, it's a good idea.
If the answer is no, and you are not feeling valued, ask
yourself, "What would my manager/spouse/colleague say if
asked to specifically describe my contributions, lest they be
fired for lack of a response?"
We know that the economy is difficult this year. Work —
including the work we do as retirees — is the critical part of so
many of our lives. Understanding where and how the value of
your work contributes to life is, perhaps, what's most important.
WPI graduates: That work began the moment you
stepped onto campus, and it has flourished ever since. But if
you should find yourself in doubt, don't hesitate to contact us
in the Career Development Center. We'll help you see your
strengths and get back on track!
Contact Connie at email@example.com
New Development and Alumni Relations Staff
Jo-Ann Alessandrini joined WPI in
September as associate vice president for
development and campaign director. She
is working with Vice President Dexter
Bailey, key volunteer leaders, and devel-
opment staff members on the planning
and implementation of a comprehensive
campaign to support WPI's teaching and
research mission, as well as the universi-
ty's future philanthropic endeavors.
Alessandrini most recently served as assistant dean for
development at the University of South Florida (USF) College
of Business in Tampa. Before joining the business school, she
led the university's fund-raising efforts as interim CEO of the
USF Foundation and as vice president of university advance-
ment in preparing for a third comprehensive campaign antici-
pated to achieve a goal of more than half a billion dollars.
Jake Messier became the executive
director of the Alumni Relations Office
in November. Working with WPI's key
alumni volunteer leaders and a dedicated
staff, Messier directs the university's
alumni relations programming focused
on strengthening the bonds among fac-
ulty, students, and staff with alumni
Messier's varied career has spanned CBS news, print and
new media advertising, high-profile public relations, and
marketing for several technology firms. He also served nine
years in the U.S. Marine Corps in public affairs.
Samuel Stewart became WPI's execu-
tive director of development operations
and research in November. He directs and
supervises programs and staff in advance-
ment services, development research, and
donor stewardship. He oversees aspects
of gift processing, reporting and analysis,
the biographical records system, prospect
research, and stewardship.
Before coming to WPI, Stewart spent 14 years at the
University of Massachusetts Medical School, where he most
recently served as controller for the development office of the
UMass Memorial Foundation. He was also chief financial
officer of UMass Medical School, responsible for accounting
systems and financial reporting.
I Michelle Vigneux joined the WPI
J Annual Fund in December as director.
She is working with the Annual Fund
Board, student leaders, and staff to lead
and grow WPI's Annual Fund program.
Vigneux brings to WPI extensive
alumni and annual fund experience. Before
joining WPI, she was director of annual
giving at Lasell College in Newton, Mass.,
where she established Graduates of the Last Decade, athletics,
and parents programs and oversaw all annual giving activities,
including a phonathon program. During her tenure, Lasell
broke the $600,000 mark in annual giving for the first time
in the college's history and saw a 10 percent increase in parent
giving and a 5 percent increase in faculty and staff giving.
Transformations \ Winter 2 009 3 9
Staying Connected with Old Friends Material for Class Notes comes from newspaper and magazine clippings, press releases, and information
supplied by alumni. Due to production schedules, some notes may be out of date at publication, but may be updated in future issues. Please allow up to 6 months
for your news to appear in print. Submit your Class Note at wpi.edu/+ Transformations or firstname.lastname@example.org. You may fax it to 508-831-5820, or mail it to
Alumni Editor, Transformations, WPI, 100 Institute Road, Worcester, MA 01609-2280.
Peter Koliss '38
(left) is retired
from Bell Tele-
phone and now
keeps busy raising
funds to restore
butions to his
efforts can be made by check, payable to Fr.
John Albert Opoku-Acquah (pictured), and
mailed to Peter Koliss, 47 Dogwood Drive,
Apt. 202, Nashua, NH 03062.
Koliss is also pictured below (far right)
with fellow Reunion 2008 celebrants Ralph
Smith '43, Len Kuniholm '38, and Morton
Frank Bodurtha '42 was a guest speaker at
the Ossipee (N.H.) Historical Society on the
70th anniversary of the "Long Island Express"
hurricane that struck New England in 1938.
He holds a doctorate in meteorology from
MIT and in retirement has done much re-
search and writing about hurricanes. He lives
in New London, Conn., and has a summer
home in Center Ossipee, N.H.
Don Post '53 was featured in the "One on
One" interview in Worcester Magazine in July
2008. He is owner of The Farmer's Daughter
garden center and Hillcrest Farm in Auburn.
Milton Meckler '54
received a Distin-
Member Award from
Society of Heating,
Refrigerating and Air-
neers) at the society's
annual meeting in June 2008. A fellow and a
lifetime member of the organization, Meckler
is a former board member and currently
serves on several technical and scientific com-
mittees. He is president and CEO of Design
Edouard "Mirff" Bouvier '55 moved from
Connecticut to Maryland last fall. His email
address remains the same: Muffl955@alum
.wpi.edu. "It's another great service offered
by WPI," he notes. "Once you get an
'alum.wpi.edu' email address, whenever you
move you only need to let WPI know of your
new ISP and the rest is seamless." He reports
that he had lunch in D.C. with Pete Horst-
mann, and dinner with Tom Mahar and his
wife, Kathy. "Contact me by phone at 240-
293-6764 or by email if you're going to be in
the area or if you have any news to report."
Ted Coghlin '56 was featured in the
Catholic Free Press as a paradigm of giving to
the larger community through stewardship.
Bill Rabinovitch '58 is composing an Iraq
Symphony for full orchestra, along with ani-
mated visual accompaniment. He continues
work on his film, "Pollack Squared," which
now incorporates a sequence he filmed using
a set from the movie "Be Kind Rewind," at
the invitation of director Michel Gondry.
Ralph Sellars '58 delivered a presentation
entitled "An Ardent Account of the Sanborn-
ton Snowroller Restoration" to the Sanborn-
ton (N.H.) Historical Society, detailing the
four-year effort to restore this donated
antique machinery to working order. He is
retired from a career in safety and fire protec-
tion engineering, and lives on his family's
farm in Tilton.
Lee Courtemanche '59 was honored by the
Technical Association of the Pulp and Paper
Industry (TAPPI). He received the organi-
zation's 2008 Paul W Magnabosco Out-
standing Local Section Member Award at
PaperCon 08, TAPPI's national conference
held in Dallas, Texas, in May.
Jim Dunn '61, president of Energy Tech-
nologies Inc., was elected to the corporate
advisory board of Solomon Technologies Inc.
^i*L \ i ft
Classmates of Jesse Erlich '62 gathered
at the Mount Washington Hotel in New
Hampshire for the wedding of his son,
Adam. From left, Mike Gordon, Dick
DiBuono, Myron Waldman, Jesse Erlich,
Ted Cocca '61, Barry Cherkas, and Casey
David Norton '62 traveled to the Middle
East to present his "Balanced Scorecard" con-
cept to area business and industry leaders. He
is the founder and president of Renaissance
Solutions and founder of the Nolan Norton
Bob Magnant '63s first novel, The Last
Transition, is an adventure in cyber-security
and global relations. It is available on his
website, homepage.mac.com/magnant, along
with his photography and other writings.
Nirmal Thakkar '63 is chairman of Tipco
Industries Ltd., based in Mumbai, India.
The firm, founded by his father in 1945,
currently employs three of Nirmal's sons.
Bob White '64 and his wife, Ginny, are
pleased to announce their retirements — Bob
from teaching at Northern Maine Commu-
nity College, and Ginny from her post as
performing arts director at the Caribou
(Maine) Performing Arts Center. "We are
40 Transformations \ Winter 2009
both looking forward to more time in Nova
Scotia, much more time with kids and
grandkids, keeping up with hobbies and
volunteer activities, and enjoying life in
general," he writes.
Chet Sergey '65, a long-
time EMT and EMS in-
structor, was honored by
the American Red Cross
at the Waterbury Area
Chapter's "Images of
Heroes" gala event. Con-
necticut Governor Jodi Rell was on hand to
offer congratulations. Chet has chaired re-
gional emergency services committees and
worked to improve training, expand facilities,
and recruit students into the field.
Bill Elliott '66 has retired after more than
35 years with the admissions department at
Carnegie Mellon University. He got his start
working in WPI's admissions office after
graduation. At CMU, he developed com-
puter models for class size and financial aid
awards, and oversaw the university's shift
from a regional school to a global university.
John Lauterbach '66 was an organizer of
Ohio State University's Sugar Alley Sympo-
sium, held in conjunction with the American
Chemical Society's 2008 national meeting in
New Orleans. Lauterbach, who did his doc-
toral work in the Sugar Alley laboratories of
Ohio State's chemistry department, presented
a paper, "Carbohydrate Chemistry in the To-
bacco Industry." He is owner and principal,
Chemistry & Toxicology, at Lauterbach &
Associates (lauterbachandassociates.com) .
Dave Heebner '67 was elected executive vice
president and group executive of General
Dynamics Land Systems' Marine Systems
Group. He previously served as president of
Harry Taylor '67 is a management consult-
ant with Manchester Consulting Group. His
article, "A New Approach to Blind Riveting,"
appeared in Appliance magazine.
WPI Trustee Michael DiPierro '68 was
named president of the Fallon Clinic Foun-
dation board of trustees.
Domenic "Road Hog" Forcella '70 writes
that classmate Greg Barnhart stopped by on
his way to Harley Davidson's 105th anniver-
sary party in August. Dom took a six-month
sabbatical from his administrative position at
Central Connecticut State University and is
currently working on sustainability. "I watch
the blues scene in Connecticut and travel to
Columnists Al Po.pio.nou '57 (The Foxboro
■ I Reporter) and Solon Economou '58 (Cape Cod
" r - ^ ^*^\ Today) exhorted voters to "Vote Early, Vote Often"
I V^> and "Vote NO on Question YES!" in their pre-election
humor features ... UFO expert Bruce Maccabee '64
appeared on Dateline NBC in a segment called
"10 Close Encounters Caught on Tape" ... Interim
Superintendent Deirdre Loughlin '68 (MNS) made
history as the first woman to lead Worcester's School
District. A successor has been selected and will take up the post in July ... Dean Kamen '73
put his vapor compression distiller to the test on The Colbert Report, showing a
skeptical Stephen Colbert how the device could produce pure drinking water from puddles,
oceans, or even (as Colbert joked) "a 50-gallon drum of urine." A profile of Kamen as
"Lord Dumpling" appeared in the December issue of Esquire ... the U.S. Senate
Subcommittee on Finance heard testimony from Alden Bianchi '74 last fall, as part of
a hearing on health care reform. Bianchi, an attorney specializing in employee benefits and
executive compensation, presented an overview and comparative analysis of single-payer
and market-based health insurance mechanisms ... Certified Fire Investigator Dave Demers
'74 discussed his role in high-profile investigations, including the MGM Las Vegas hotel fire,
and The Station nightclub fire, in the Telegram & Gazette's "On the Job" profile ...
Mike Kirscher '82 was prominently featured in a recent book, Exposed: The Toxic
Chemistry of Everyday Products and What's at Stake for American
Power, as well as numerous articles on the environmental toll of America's electronics
manufacturing industry. He is president and co-founder of Design Chain Associates ... Carol
Taubl '84, her husband, John, and their seven children appeared on America's Got
Talent, earning them comparisons to the singing von Trapp family ... Marc Zimmer '88
(PhD), a Connecticut College professor, responded to numerous reporters' inquiries after the
2008 Nobel Prize for Chemistry went to a team of scientists studying bioluminescence, his
specialty. Zimmer explained the importance of their discovery in an op-ed piece in the Los
Angeles Times, and was quoted in many major publications, including Science and
Wired ... Starbucks's senior vice president Michelle Gass '90 was profiled in The Wall
Street Journal ... John Baird '04 gave the introductory speech for Congressman Ron
Paul during a 2008 presidential primary campaign visit to the University of Pittsburg. Pitt
News covered Baird's role in arranging the event.
Memphis a couple of times a year," he writes.
He can be reached at email@example.com.
Jack Keenan '70 is the new CEO of Pacific
Gas and Electric Co. He was previously sen-
ior vice president of generation and chief
Toh-Ming Lu '71 (MS) was elected a fellow
of the American Association for the Advance-
ment of Science. He is the R. P. Baker Profes-
sor of Physics at RPI.
Kudos to Cutler Associates president Fred-
eric Mulligan '71, who received the Merito-
rious Service Award from the Design-Build
Institute of America (DBIA).
Herbert Nock '71 joined Ocean Power
Technologies as vice president, business
development and marketing.
Donald Peterson '71, chair of the WPI
Board of Trustees, was elected a co-chair
of the Committee for Economic Devel-
opment's business-led policy group.
Justice Paul Fritzsche '72 was re-
nominated to the Maine Supreme
Court, where he has served for 2 1 years.
Howard Levine '72 joined Synova
USA Inc. as eastern region sales man-
ager. He lives in Stamford, Conn.
Transformations \ Winter 2 009 4 1
WPI can show you how to
create a special legacy gift
and have financial freedom to
support your grandchildren for
many years to come.
A Charitable Lead Trust provides an annual gift for
WPI, tax relief for you and your estate, and a special
trust for your heirs for as many years as you wish.
This could fund a WPI campaign gift, contribute to
(or pay for) your grandchildren's college education,
and give you an up-front tax deduction.
For more information, call 888-974-4438
(toll-free) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
John Modzelewski '72 is office manager for
the Hernando, Miss., office of Smith Seck-
man Reid Inc.
Philip Piqueira '72 is chief engineer, stan-
dards integration, at GE Industrial Systems.
Ray Roberge '72 is corporate vice president
and CTP of Praxair Inc.
Rev. BUI Ault '73 and HoUy Keyes Ault '74
took the First Church of Templeton (Mass.)
Youth Group to Orlando, Maine, where they
spent a week volunteering for HOME Inc.,
helping with repairs and construction.
Thomas "Fergie" Ferguson '73 writes, "I
retired in 2006, after 25 years at Eli Lilly and
Company. I'm now doing a little consulting,
starting a vineyard, and enjoying my family
Roger Lavallee '73 recently joined Merrill
Lynch in Hartford, Conn., as a financial ad-
visor. He previously worked for Aetna Finan-
cial Services, ING, and Phoenix Investment
Alden Bianchi '74 was listed in the 2008
edition of Chambers USA: America's Leading
Lawyers for Business. He was ranked in Tier 1
of the Employee Benefits and Executive
Compensation category for Massachusetts.
Jim Bowen '74 recently retired from Pratt &
Whitney after 27 years.
Timothy Murray '74 was elected chairman
and CEO of OFS, a designer and manufac-
turer of optical fiber products.
Michael Dolan '75 was appointed senior
vice president of ExxonMobil Corp. in April
Jerry Forstater '75 is founder of Professional
Systems Engineering in Lansdale, Pa. A fre-
quent speaker on security issues, he recently
traveled to Israel on a Homeland Security
and Counter-Terrorism Observation Mission.
David Fowler '75 was appointed senior vice
president, marketing and product develop-
ment, at VidSys in Vienna, Va.
James Lane '75 is CEO of Novelty Hill
Software Inc., an embedded firmware com-
pany in the Redmond, Wash., area. He also
serves as software architect at the Technical
Committee formed as a part of the settle-
ment reached in the Microsoft anti-trust
David Eves '76 was named director of tech-
nical operations at DuBois & King in Ran-
dolph, Vt. •
X Cafe LCC, the company of Paul Kalenian
'76, was a finalist in the New England Inno-
vations Award competition sponsored by the
Smaller Business Association of New Eng-
Fran McConville '76 continues as a senior
consultant for Impact Technologies in Lin-
coln, Mass. A section of his book, The Pilot
Plant Real Book, was excerpted in Chemical
After a career in hardware design and appli-
cations engineering, Art Stryer '76 writes
from Milpitas, Calif, where he is taking
some IT classes at Stanford and Foothill
College. "I developed some great electronics
(U.S. patent on PhaseLocked Loops, 1983,
Sole Inventor)," he writes, "but it's time for a
change. I'd like to develop websites and ulti-
mately have my own online business site(s)."
Art invites classmates to contact him at
Steven Fine '77 was promoted to senior sci-
entist at Laticrete International.
Jeff Harrington '77 contributed a chapter
called "Applications of Gaseous Agents to
Special Hazards Fire Protection" to the 20th
edition of the NFPA Fire Protection Hand-
book. He was also a keynote speaker at
SUPDET, the Suppression and Detection
Research and Applications Technical Work-
ing Conference in Orlando, Fla.
Joseph Kilar '77 is CEO of Emaar, The
Economic City, the development company
for King Abdullah Economic City in Saudi
completed a re-
the French way
of the Camino
from St. Jean
Pied de Port in
France to Santi-
ago de Com-
Spain. "Five weeks was barely enough time,"
he writes. "Altogether it was quite an experi-
ence, touching me physically, mentally, emo-
tionally, and spiritually."
Houghton Lewis '78 was appointed vice
president and treasurer of Lorillard Tobacco
Pete Gould '79 was recently promoted to
vice president of engineering and chief engi-
neer at Raytheon Space and Airborne Sys-
tems. He was previously deputy VP of
engineering. Pete lives with his wife, Man,',
and younger daughter, Mel, in Redondo
Mark Lefebvre is marketing director for the
Rational Systems business within IBM Soft-
ware Group. He writes, "Vivian (Martin) and
I have been happily married for nearly 25
years, and we have two great children, Joey
(14) and Selena (12), adopted from Korea.
We still reside in Hampton, N.H. I would
love to hear from my WPI friends."
Mario Marcaccio is a senior vice president at
CDM. He joined as a project engineer after
graduation and transitioned to the legal team
in 1987, serving as lead counsel for company
acquisitions, claims, and contracts.
Ernie Cormier writes, "Jan and I have just
moved back to the U.S. from England, where
we lived for two years while I was working at
Virgin Media as chief commercial officer and
managing director, group strategy and corpo-
rate development. I'd love to hear from any
long-lost (or not!) friends from those great
days at WPI!"
Edward Gonsalves holds the post of senior
vice president, product development, at
Wavetrend Technologies Ltd.
Lee Laviolette joined Arthur D. Little as
managing partner, operating strategy and
transformation, in the firm's global energy
Steven Brown lives in Lyndeborough, N.H.,
where he has been active on the board of se-
lectmen. He and his wife, Maria, have a
Andres Molina joined
Vanderweil Engineers in
Boston as manager of sub-
station engineering within
the Transmission & Dis-
tribution Specialty Group.
John Willoughby is director of marketing at
Carbon Design Systems.
Karen Casella was promoted to vice presi-
dent of engineering at Shop.com, where she
has been employed since 2005. Her responsi-
bilities include search engine development,
site operations, database administration, and
Transformations \ Winter 2009 43
Recent and new publications by WPI alumni, faculty, staff
by Gary Braver (Gary Goshgarian '64) Forge Books
A psychopath is preying on the most beautiful women in Boston — and
homicide detective Steve Markarian secretly suspects that he might be
the killer. Haunted by personal failures, and longing for his ex-wife,
he suddenly discovers that she could be the next victim. Following on
the success of his previous thrillers, Goshgarian now delves into the
darker side of plastic surgery and the quest for physical perfection.
"A nerve-jangling thriller that combines the horror of The Silence of the
Lambs with the medical terror of Robin Cook," says bestselling author
From Concept to Consumer: How to Turn Ideas into Money
by Phil Baker '65 Financial Times Press
Phil Baker's resume includes more than 30 patents and flagship
products for Apple, Seiko, Polaroid, and others. Now he has written
a practical guide through the product development process showing
what it takes to deliver one winning product after another, from plan-
ning and manufacturing, to market release and distribution. He is a
co-founder of Think Outside and the creator of the Stowaway
No More Meetings from Hell: How to Structure and
Manage the Facilitation of Teams
by Jack Rahaim '66 CreateSpace
After 20 years of facilitating groups in a variety of industries, manage-
ment consultant Jack Rahaim knows how easily business meetings can
degenerate into touchy-feely, content-free discussions that "go on for
hours with the apparent objective of seeing who can dominate the
conversation, suck most of the air out of the room, and look good to
the boss doing it." His book defines the role of the facilitation and
offers tools for engaging participants, structuring actions, and avoid-
ing common problems. Rahaim holds an MBA from the University of
New Haven. His clients include major hospitals, universities, nonprof-
its, and high-tech businesses in the United States and Japan.
by Jack Rahaim
Where Have All the Emails Gone?
by David Gewirtz '82 ZATZ Publishing
Email operations at the White House need fixing, says David
Gewirtz, a former computer science professor and author of more
than 600 articles on electronic communications. "It's not about poli-
tics. It's about national security." His concerns include unsecured
communications and improper data management in the executive
office. He offers historical perspective dating back to the Reagan
administration, potential nightmare scenarios, and recommendations
on everything from archiving to hand-held devices. Gewirtz is
publisher and editor-in-chief of ZATZ Publishing, an independent
publisher of digital magazines.
WHERE HAVE ALL
Mark Hasso (PhD), a
former BSCES president,
received the organization's
Citizen Engineer Award at
its 2008 annual meeting
in June. He was also hon-
ored by Wentworth Insti-
tute of Technology with the Presidents
Distinguished Service Award and the Alumni
Association Distinguished Service Award. He
currently serves as a professor and coordina-
tor of Wentworth's Construction Manage-
Joe Morgan was appointed executive vice
president and COO of Standard Register in
Joseph Parisi is the new public works chief
for Rockport, Mass.
Ron Rappel is principal
. 4rM engineer with Vicor Corp.
£■ p^ He lives and works in
^H ! Andover, Mass.
fwT^^RM J osn Reed, writes, "After
'^™' — ^^^^* 20+ years in the photo
retail and imaging business, I have left Ritz
Camera and The Camera Shop Inc. to join the
management team of Lowes Home Improve-
ment Centers. It's a welcome change, and I am
using many of the skills developed at WPI."
Christopher Scholl, director of health,
safety, and environmental affairs for Saint-
Gobain High Performance Materials in
Worcester, was elected to serve on the Associ-
ated Industries of Massachusetts board of di-
Zhi Tan (MS CS, PhD '87) was appointed
CEO of Focus Media in Shanghai.
Chris Cavigioli was recruited by Intel Corp.
as a strategic planner in the Ultra Mobility
Group, developing the Atom™ processors
for mobile Internet devices (MIDs). "Our
son is now 2 years old and keeping us very
busy and happily entertained," he writes.
servicing missions. See edcheung.com for his
interview in the 2008 NASA video "Extend-
ing Hubble Vision."
Paul Chodak was named president and
COO of Southwestern Electric Power Co.,
based in Shreveport, La.
Jay Cormier joined Sierra Monolithics in
Redondo Beach, Calif., as VP of Optical
Jeffrey Horowitz was named 2007 Lincoln
Financial Group Planner of the Year by Lin-
coln Financial Advisors in San Francisco.
Bob Soares, Mike Gonsor, Rochelle
(Boule) Heline, and Stefan Heline enjoyed
a few days of sun and fun with their families,
on a camping trip to North Truro in August.
They posed while waiting for the bus to the
P-Town carnival parade.
Carol (Fik) Davis (MS) is an occupational
medicine physician at Brookhaven (N.Y.)
National Laboratory, working on wellness
issues, travel medicine, ergonomics, and fit-
ness-for-dury exams. "I am married to an
attorney and we have a son, 5, and a 1 -year-
old daughter. They keep us busy and very
happy, but we're not up to traveling much
just yet. I do miss New England and would
love to hear from classmates."
Craig Gosselin joined Solutions Group in
Merc (Mirkazemi) Ward is back in South-
ern California, working for Spin Master Toys
as director of girls' products. "My son Kyle
attended a summer program at WPI and now
wants to be a robotics engineer," she writes.
"I would be so proud to have him attend
WPI. My daughter Arianna attended sum-
mer camp in Maine where I used to be a
camp counselor. Lastly, through the WPI
alumni website, I was able to reconnect with
my little sister from PSS, Vonnie."
Jeffrey Bloom is co-author of a text on the
fundamentals of image-, video-, and audio
processing. The second edition was recently
published under the title Digital Watermark-
ing and Steganography.
Cut Your Energy Bills Now: 1 50 Smart Ways to Save Money
and Make Your Home More Comfortable and Green
by Bruce Harley '85 Taunton Press
For those thinking about converting to solar power — or simply
weather stripping some leaky windows — Harley's book provides
detailed instructions for do-it-yourself projects, as well as guidance
on hiring contractors for complex jobs. Drawing on wisdom from
his 18 years in helping others improve the energy efficiency of their
homes, he aims to guide homeowners and renters toward steps that
will realize maximum value. He currently serves as technical director
of Conservations Services Group and is the author of Insulate and
Nanotechnology: Health and Environmental Risks
by Jo Anne Shatkin '85 CRC Press
In her contribution to the "Perspectives in Nanotechnology" series,
Jo Anne Shatkin outlines current health and environmental issues of
nanotechnology and introduces risk analysis as a means of making
responsible decisions about product development. Current and
proposed practices are explored, as well as international efforts
to establish policies for a sustainable future. Shatkin held a book
signing at the WPI bookstore on Nov. 6. She is managing director
of CLF Ventures, a nonprofit affiliate of the Conservation Law
John Grow married Yasuko Mitsuoka on
Nov. 2, 2007. They live in Sandy, Utah.
Lynn (Burlingame) O'Marra was promoted
to tax principal at LGC&D in Providence, R.I.
Suzanne (Lewis) Pisano
is an associate at Tighe &
Bond. She was elected to
the board of directors of
the American Council of
(ACEC) of Massachusetts.
Ronald Horton of Gettysburg, Pa., is a proj-
ect manager for Arro.
Dave Picarillo was promoted to senior vice
president at Topco Associates, where he heads
up TopSource, the company's not-for-resale
program for the food industry.
Rob Provost founded Grand Slam Fly-
fishing Destinations, specializing in hosted
fly fishing trips to destinations around the
world. Visit grandslamflyfishing.com or call
him at 808-224-2035 to learn more or to
book your next trip.
William Riccio was named director of
public services for Newport, R.I., to head
a newly created department spun off from
the town's public works department.
ECI Biotech, headed by Mitch Sanders,
was awarded a phase II NIH grant to com-
mercialize ExpressDetect®, a bioburden
diagnostic that enables doctors to detect
and treat wound infections without waiting
several days for culture results.
Angela (Iatrou) Simon (Perini Corp.) and
Caleb Warner (Raytheon) returned to cam-
pus in March 2008 for a Roundtable Discus-
sion with Engineers, as part of Women's
Dan Bruso specializes in intellectual prop-
erty law, commercial transactions, and litiga-
tion at Cantor Colburn LLP in Hartford,
Conn. He and his wife live in Somers with
their three children, Claire, Audrey, and
Charlie. "In my spare time, I enjoy technical
scuba diving. I concentrate on shipwreck
exploration in the 150- to 250-foot range,
using a Prism Topaz rebreather," he writes.
Transformations \ Winter 2009 45
Steven Delfino's toy store, The Construction
Site, has closed shop in Waltham, Mass.
Steve and his co-founder hope to launch an
online operation and to open another physi-
cal store in the future.
Jeff Goldmeer is fuel flexibility leader for
GE's F-class heavy-duty gas turbines. His
article, "Heavy-duty gas turbines' fuel
pick'n'mix" was published in the May 2008
issue of Power Engineering International.
Margaret Lynch is a success coach and
author of motivational books and audio
products. Her Internet radio talk show airs
weekly on the Internet-based Voice America
Lt. Col. Andre Mercier has been a Marine
Corps navigator for 1 8 years, with tours of
dun.' that included Afghanistan and Bosnia.
He is currently working in Crystal City, Va.,
on a multi-service project to build the Joint
Strike Fighter for the Marines, Navy, and
William Bullard is
commander of the
USS Constitution, a
I popular tourist desti-
nation in Boston
Harbor. His previous
Storm and Operation Continue Hope in
Somalia, as well as deployments in Bahrain,
Yemen, and Iraq.
Bob Morales joined Orbital Sciences Corpo-
ration in June 2008 as senior principal lead
for RF & electrical engineering. He is in-
volved in management, design, integration,
test, Field deployment, and operation of satel-
lite ground stations and spacecraft.
Gerry Burns was appointed president and
CEO of Data2Logistics (data2logistics.com),
with headquarters in Fort Myers, Fla., and
offices in Salt Lake City and the Netherlands.
Data2Logistics provides freight bill audit,
processing, payment, and logistics informa-
tion management services to Fortune 1000
companies across the globe.
Sue (Chilvers) Jones is senior group man-
ager of business engineering at JPMorgan-
Chase in Wilmington, Del. She and her
husband, Keith, are thrilled to announce
the birth of their first child, a son, Parker
Hudson, on Jan. 11,2008.
Roy Nash was selected for rear admiral
(lower half) by the U.S. Coast Guard. He
was previously responsible for fire protection
requirements on U.S. flagged merchant ships
and presently works for the 13th Coast
Guard district command staff in Seattle.
Loan Ngo received her MS in manufactur-
ing operations from Kettering University in
June. She and her husband, Dana Jones, are
proud to announce the birth of a healthy
boy, Brandon, born July 24, 2008.
Pamela Peterson was elected a shareholder
of the Devine Millimet law firm. She is a
cum laude graduate of Vermont Law School.
Manish Singh (MS) is president and CEO
of ImmunoCellular Therapeutics Ltd.
Dave Andrade recently received his MS in
education from Walden University. His spe-
cialty was integrating technology into the
curriculum, which he puts into practice as a
physics teacher at Central High School in
Bridgeport, Conn., incorporating resources
from NASA and nearby Sikorsky Aircraft.
Dave also works with the JHPC Paramedic
Program and Stratford EMS. His wife, Cori,
a fellow EMT, is studying to become a high
school biology teacher.
Magued Barsoum is chief technical officer
of Fortress Technologies in Westford, Mass.
Jim Lavallee joined Onaro Inc. of Boston as
director of customer service.
Patrick Tompkins and Lyle Coghlin are
founders of CTA Construction Co., a
Boston-area construction management firm.
Cory Belden married Laura Marshall on
Oct. 7, 2007. They live in San Pablo, Calif.
Alan DiFonzo (MMS) received the Out-
standing Teacher of the Year award from the
Senator Louis P. Bertonazzi Foundation. He
teaches at Milford (Mass.) High School.
Stephen Foskett was awarded a Microsoft
Most Valuable Professional award for File
System Storage. He is director of the data
consulting practice at Contoural Inc. in
Mountain View, Calif.
Becca (Mason) Yang and her husband,
Roger, became the proud parents of Zoey
Yi-Tian, born Feb. 23, 2008 in Los Angeles.
Michael Briggs completed his PhD in
physics this spring at the University of New
Hampshire. His 700-page dissertation was a
fundamental analysis of means of producing
and storing energy, focusing on nuclear
Bjune qualified for the
2008 Women's Olympic
Marathon Trials. She
placed 35th, with a time
of 2:42:02. Her No. 4
finish in the Philadelphia
qualified her for the tri-
als. She was New Eng-
land Runner's 2007
Female Open Runner of
the Year. She lives in Andover, Mass., with
her husband, Lars.
Scott Duffey is captain of the Rockland,
Mass., fire department. He also works part
time as an engineer.
Victor Hart, and his wife, Michele, are
pleased to announce the birth of their second
son, Henry Michael, born Aug. 18, 2007. He
joins big brother, Owen.
Amy (Plack) and Gregg Marr '95 joyfully
welcomed their second child, Caitlin Emily,
on Sept. 22, 2007. First daughter Ainsley is
enjoying big sisterhood immensely. Amy has
been employed as an information architect at
Cramer in Norwood, Mass., since 2007.
Erica Curran Mason had an exhibition at
Gordon Library, featuring ink drawings of
patterns derived from plant cellular struc-
tures. Her artwork has won several awards,
including the "Works on Paper" award from
the Northeast Prize Show at the Cambridge
Art Association. She lives in Lincoln, Mass.
Eric Maynard (MSME) is a senior consult-
ant at Jenike & Johanson in Tyngsborough,
Marc Burke married Margaret Foley on
Sept. 8, 2007. They live in Milton, Mass.
Marc is a product marketing specialist at
Katherine (Drainville) and Benjamin
Higgins announce the birth of their first son,
Alexander Benjamin, on June 18, 2008.
46 Transformations \ Winter 2009
THE DOLAN CHALLENGE
Your gift makes an even greater impact
Trustee Mike Dolan '75 is challenging WPI alumni from the last 20 years (1989-2008)
to support WPI's innovative approach to science and engineering education. He will match
(50 cents on the dollar) gifts to the Annual Fund of at least $100, now through June 30, 2009.
When you give to the WPI Annual Fund, you demonstrate your belief in your alma mater and its
noble mission — to educate the next generation of leaders in science and engineering and to create
positive change in the world through the purposeful application of engineering, science, and technology.
Your participation in the Annual Fund helps make WPI a world-class experience for students and faculty.
Take advantage of the Dolan Challenge today: wpiAmodules.com /dolan
tSa? ' _ —
in the U.S.
weeks on the USS Ronald Reagan this spring.
A reservist, he works as a project engineer for
BP in his civilian life. He and his wife, Mary,
have three children.
Greg Cuetara and his wife, Bethany, married
in 2004 and welcomed their son, Benjamin
Lee, into the world on Nov. 3, 2007. Greg
works for Industry and Energy Associates in
Portland, Maine. He recently passed the
Civil, Structural, and Structural II PE exams.
Stephen Davis owns the Arena Cafe bar and
grill in Woonsocket, R.I. "It's a small neigh-
borhood bar with great food and fun bar-
tenders. We always have something going
on," he writes.
Molly (McCabe) and Brian Gagnon '97
welcomed Samuel Francis on July 7, 2008.
Leanne (Stackpole) and Craig Hansen are
proud to announce the birth of their son,
Avery Robert, on Oct. 27, 2008.
Jeannine (Block) and James Lovering had
a daughter, Bethany Grace, on Jan. 20, 2008.
Mom, Dad, and big sister Amelia are enjoy-
ing rhe new addition.
Tara Jo Devarakonda married Mark Gibbs
last year. They live in El Paso, Texas, where
Tara is working toward a teaching certificate.
Mohan Jayaraman became a U.S. citizen in
May, along with more than 500 others, in
one of the largest naturalization ceremonies
ever held in the state of New Hampshire. He
and his wife and two children live in Nashua.
Wayne Lilyestrom is a postdoctoral fellow
at Colorado State University. His research,
funded by the American Cancer Society,
could improve the potency and specificity
of future chemotherapies. He was a guest
speaker at the Relay for Life in Carbondale.
Laura (Pare) and Chris Milici of Wrentham,
Mass., are excited to announce the birth of
their daughter, Molly Grace, (grandchild of
Mark Pare 75) on Jan. 26, 2008. Mom,
Dad, and little Miss Molly are doing great!
program, he hopes to get involved in the F-35
Joint Strike Fighter program. He and his
wife, Jenny, have rwo children — Alexis, 2,
and Christopher, who turned 1 in June 2008.
Brendan Smith received his MBA from Har-
vard Business School in June. He is a strategy
consultant with the Boston Consulting
Group in the firm's downtown Boston office.
3 Under Forty
Three WPI alumni made Consulting-
Specifying Engineer's 40 Under Forty list
this year: Jeffrey Tubbs '90, associate prin-
cipal, Arup; Doug Nadeau '94, co-founder
and principal, New England Engineering;
and Andrew Purtell '05, application engi-
Jeffrey Solari was promoted to manager of
product development at Incom Inc. in Charl-
Glenn Barnett is principal consultant for
Molecular Inc. in Watertown, Mass. He
married Dianna Shepard last year.
Kristin Connarn switched law firms to help
start up the biotech/chemistry patent prac-
tice at McDermott Will & Emery in Boston.
^■■■^ I Tina (Casamassina)
^V-> . ^^1 j°i ne d Harrington Group
H ^^H (founded by Jeff Har-
J^L ]M I rington '77) as a senior
^^^^ I fire protection engineer in
^h^^^I the firm's Charlotte office.
Ben Nawrath married Kim McCabe on
Oct. 6, 2007, near their home in New York.
Brandon Ngo received his MBA from the
Ross School of Business at the University of
Michigan, Ann Arbor, in April 2008. He
now works for Lehman Brothers in New
York City as an associate.
Check out wpi.edu/News/Perspectives
/rockpaperscissors.html to see Sean Sears,
national champion of the 2008 Rock Paper
Scissors League competition in Las Vegas,
sponsored by Bud Light.
Megan Parsons '01 and Andrew Cook '00 were married Oct. 13, 2007, among many WPI
alumni. The couple lives in Amesbury, Mass.
Jocelyn Songer (MS BE) was awarded a
postdoctoral fellowship from the National
Space Biomedical Research Institute to ex-
plore inner-ear function in outer space. Her
research involves using sound to assess bal-
ance problems encountered by astronauts on
long-duration space flights.
Steve Vallee holds the post of research engi-
neer III at Powerspan in New Durham, N.H.
Jay Viamari (MS) earned
certification as a LEED
(Leadership in Energy and
He was recently promoted
to associate at Tighe &
Bond in Westfield, Mass.
Kevin Beverage married Kate Wrigley on
Sept. 22, 2008. They are both working on
graduate degrees at WPI.
John Hammond serves as help desk manager
for Wesleyan University. He was profiled by
the Wesleyan Connection recently.
Mike Mahan of Leominster, Mass., received
his MBA from Carroll Graduate School of
Management at Boston College. Before
becoming a full-time student, he was a con-
sultant at Accenture.
Army Reserve Maj. Richard McGowan has
been deployed in support of Operation Iraqi
Freedom. He is a civil affairs specialist previ-
ously serving in Warwick, R.I.
Michael Quigley was
promoted to principal at
tants in Boston.
Tracy (Patturelli) and Antonio Troncoso
welcomed their first child, Mia Lynn, on
May 22, 2008. The family is currently resid-
ing in Chelmsford, Mass.
Vikki Tsefrikas was profiled in a Science
magazine supplement focusing on career
options. The article was called "Industrial
Postdocs: The Road Less Traveled." After
completing a PhD in organic chemistry at
BU, she embarked on a two-year program
at Astra Zeneca.
Edward Vandedrinck writes, "I was finally
married, on Aug. 15, 2008, to Agnieszka
Sulich, in Warsaw, Poland."
Jen Waite married Jamie Blair on Oct. 1 1,
2008, at Cathedral of the Pines in Rindge,
N.H. They live in their new house on
Wilbur Street in Worcester.
Anthony Berry, Air National Guard Airman
1st Class, graduated from basic military
training at Lackland Air Force Base in San
Marc Bullio joined Tishman Construction
Corporation of Massachusetts as a project
Craig Daniels graduated from Northeastern
University with an MSEE in 2008. A lead
systems engineer for GE Transportation, he
lives in Weymouth, Mass., with his fiancee,
Timothy Fisher married Amber Bifolck
on June 7, 2008. He is a student at UC
Hastings College of Law.
Matt Killebrew is a senior project manager
in the Denver office of Hughes Associates.
Mark Arsenault married Carina Wohl on
Sept. 2, 2007. They live in Philadelphia.
John Berube is a web developer at Little
Green Cube in Chicago. He married Shanna
Cross in October 2007.
David Campbell and Kathryn Lambert
were married Sept. 15, 2007. He works for
AFC Cable Systems, and she is employed by
McLaughlin Research Corp. They live in
Samuel Gutmann married Jennifer Oppen-
heimer on Nov. 24, 2007.
Keith Hammerschlag works at Technic Inc.
He and his wife, Nicole, live in Pawtucket,
Jaclyn Maiorano works
for Tighe & Bond in
Westfield, Mass. She re-
cently earned certification
as a LEED (Leadership in
Energy and Environmen-
tal Design) accredited
Geoffrey San Antonio
was awarded his PhD in
electrical and systems en-
gineering from Washing-
ton University in May
2008. His doctoral thesis
was on Waveform Design
for Multiple-Input Mulriple-Output Radar
Systems. Currently he is a research engineer
at the Naval Research Laboratory in Wash-
ington, D.C. He is the son of Pamela and
Richard San Antonio '71.
Marcela Skorik joined Mead & Hunt Inc.'s
Minneapolis water resources team.
Benjamin Thompson married Stephanie
Seniecle in September 2007. He is an appli-
cation developer at Aetna.
Brian Thompson (MS FPE) presented an
educational seminar called "Performance-
Based Smoke Control Design" at the 2008
World Safety Conference & Exposition. He
is a principal at Aegis Engineering.
48 Transformations \ Winter 2009
Devin Wolfe married Sarah Pilato on Jan.
27, 2007. The couple resides in Rochester
N.Y., where Devin is currently pursuing his
PhD in biochemistry at the University of
Tim Baird holds the post of project engineer
III at NyPro. He is still active with FIRST as
a mentor for the Gael Force robotics team at
Clinton High School.
Love TV? Check out Bob Degon's new tele-
vision commentary site, cliqueclack.com/tv.
Christopher Lacasse works for Raytheon.
He and his wife, Jennifer, live in Taunton,
Kerry Malone and Michael Grant became
engaged in April 2008, while vacationing in
Florida. An April 2009 wedding is planned,
with Erin Daly and Merry Furhman as
bridesmaids, and Rob Malone '02 as a
groomsman. The couple recently purchased a
home in Northbridge, Mass.
Tim McGreal's "AlarmArm" was featured
in the Chicago South Town Star. He appears
in a marketing video for his invention at
Melinda Palma spent two years with the
Peace Corps teaching chemistry and math in
Ghana, where she received a national award
for volunteer teaching by a foreigner. In
February 2008 she lunched with George
Bush, Condoleezza Rice, and other digni-
taries who were visiting Africa to discuss
Tiffany Tarn and John Bubriski '06 were
married on July 19, 2008, in Stockbridge,
Sgt. Jason Cox received a U.S. Navy and
Marine Corps Achievement Medal for his
work on countering improvised explosive
devices (IEDs). While serving on active com-
bat duty in Iraq, he designed a device that
validated the use of infrared spectroscopy to
detect the triggering systems of these roadside
bombs. His data enabled the Marine Corps
to purchase life-saving technology of
a similar design. Cox's honor was reported
by the Boston Globe, Worcester Telegram &
Gazette and Worcester Business Journal and by
WPI on its homepage (go to wpi.edu/News
. Our Spring 2008 photos of Jared
Birmingham '02 and Nick Williams '02 bungee
jumping from Macau Tower showed Nick on the
platform with a jump company employee (who was
misidentified as Jared) standing behind him. Here's
a look at Jared's jump, y
On July 12,
on Bailey Island
in Maine. Keala
is on her way to
being a Spanish
teacher, and Josh is working at an engineer-
ing firm in Newburyport, Mass. They live in
Old Orchard Beach, Maine.
Eric Couture (MSME) is a mechanical engi-
neer at Insight Technology. He married Erika
Messinger in 2007.
Paul Ragaglia married Jamie Ferreira on
Dec. 7, 2007. He works for Pratt & Whitney
in Grand Prairie, Texas.
Gary Comtois (BSME) works for AstraMed
in West Warwick, R.I. He married Diana
Truesdale on July 28, 2007.
Amanda McCullough and Andrew Bisol
became engaged on July 21 , 2008. Andrew is
working as a structural engineer in Blue Bell,
Pa., and Amanda is in her second year of
veterinary school at the University of Penn-
Michael McKinstry joined Beswick Engi-
neering's application engineering depart-
Suzanne Peyser's 2008 civil engineering
master's thesis, "Feasibility of Green Building
at WPI," received an honorable mention
from the Association for the Advancement
of Sustainability in Higher Education for its
Student Research on Campus Sustainability
Cale Putnam is active with Paraclete Acad-
emy's Society of Paraclete Engineers robotics
A cluster of recent chemistry/biochem alumni have gone on to
graduate school at Yale: Eugene Douglass '07, Lori Ferris '07, Jill Goldstein '08,
and Oana Luca '08
^^■^^^ I Daemian Foster joined
m ^k the Worcester office of
J* Tighe & Bond as an
jt^^^^ I Chuck Gammal won the
J ^^ I Eta Kappa Nu Alton B.
I . "7T f. I Zerby and Carl T Koener
I Outstanding Electrical or
I Computer Engineering
^g^^H Student Award tor the
^HL__^^H 2007-08 academic
He will receive the awatd during the annual
banquet of the ECE Department Heads
Association at the HKN annual meeting in
Navy Ensign Jacob Russell married Jennifer
Lindsay on May 18, 2008. They live in San
Sanouri Ursprung published "The Latency
to the Onset of Nicotine Withdrawal: A Test
of the Sensitization-Homeostasis Theory
in Addictive Behaviors, based on her IQP
Virginia Ward was
awarded a Fulbright
Scholarship to teach Eng-
lish in Taiwan during the
2008-09 academic year.
She also hopes to study
the Chinese language and
enhance mutual understanding between the
United States and Taiwan. She is the first
WPI student to be named a Fulbright
Transformations \ Winter 2009 49
WPI has learned of the death of Willard A.
Gallotte '24 in 2005. He and his wife,
Glenola, had two children. He worked for
Puget Sound Power & Light Co.
Chester A. Deane '27 of Pisqua, Ohio,
died Oct. 1, 2006. Predeceased by his wife,
Priscilla (Averell), he leaves five children. He
was retired from Westinghouse Electric Co.
WPI has learned of the death of Roscoe H.
Bowers '30 (Lambda Chi Alpha) in 2003.
He worked for Weyerhaeuser Corp. He and
his wife, Ruth, had one son, who predeceased
John W. Conley '30 (Sigma Alpha Epsilon)
died Aug. 30, 2007. He was predeceased by
his wife, Helen. He lived in San Diego and
was retired from J. Walter Thompson Co.
WPI has learned of the death of Leland H.
Fisler '30 in 2003. He was retired from Sar-
gent & Co. Predeceased by his wife, Frances
(Hawkes), he leaves two children.
WPI has learned of the death of Wilson H.
Rice '30 (Phi Sigma Kappa) in 2004. A re-
tired manufacturing engineer for Hamilton
Sunstrand, he leaves his wife, Marie, and two
William E. Ashe '32 (Phi Kappa Theta), a
longtime Worcester resident, died Jan. 23,
2008. Predeceased by his wife, Anna (Knox),
he leaves a son. He was retired from the
former Rice Barton Corp. as a mechanical
Earle E. Green '32
(Lambda Chi Alpha) of
Inverness, Fla., died April
11,2008. He was retired
from Liberty Mutual In-
surance Co. as an under-
writer and executive
officer. Predeceased by his wife, Elsie, he
leaves a son, a stepson, and two daughters.
Rocco N. LaPenta '32 of Southington,
Conn., died April 27, 2008. He leaves his
wife, Josephine, and three children. He was
retired from a career in the construction
WPI recently learned of the death of Joseph
H. Fogg '33 (Phi Gamma Delta, Skull) in
1999. He lived in Jacksonville, Fla., and was
retired from the Department of the Navy.
His wife, Shirley, survives him.
Kenneth E. Gleason Sr. '33 (Phi Sigma
Kappa) died Nov. 6, 2007, at his home in
Newton, Mass. He leaves his wife, Mary
Louise (Hall), and three children. Gleason
50 Transformations \ Winter 2009
spent most of his career at Gillette Co.,
where he rose to superintendent of quality
John C. Powers '33
of Bolton, Mass., died
Nov. 27, 2007. He is sur-
vived by his wife, Lillian
(Cate), and a daughter.
A structural engineer,
he designed numerous
Worcester landmarks, including several
Catholic churches and the Worcester Center
Galleria before his retirement from O. E.
Eugene J. Teir '33 (Theta
Chi) of Gardner, Mass.,
died Nov. 24, 2006.
Predeceased by his wife,
Laura, he leaves a daugh-
ter. Teir was retired as
Gardner's city engineer.
Robert M. Cape '35 of Minneapolis, Minn.,
died May 24, 2007. He worked for TAMS de
Brasil as a civil engineer. He was predeceased
by his wife, Mildred, and is survived by three
William A. Dempsey '35 (MS EE '36) of
Warwick, R.I., died Nov. 29, 2007 He leaves
his wife, Eleanor (Fleming), and three daugh-
ters. He helped develop RADAR technology
during his naval service and later worked as
an electrical engineer for Narragansett Elec-
J. Russell Hemenway '35
of Worcester died Dec.
10, 2007 His wife, Ann
(Gagan) died in 2001.
Five children survive him.
Hemenway worked for
Leland-Gifford Co. for 33
years and later retired from Jamesbury Corp.
Joseph A. Sukaskas '35 (Skull) of Westbury,
N.Y., died Aug. 21, 2007 A longtime electri-
cal engineer for the civil and defense indus-
tries, he leaves his wife, Bep, and a son.
Robert B. Taylor '35 (Theta Chi) died Dec.
2, 2007. He was the retired president of
R. B. Taylor Corp. Survivors include three sons.
Scott K. Goodwin '36
(Theta Chi) of Hartford,
Conn., died Nov. 14,
2007. Predeceased by his
wife, Barbara (Mason),
he leaves two daughters.
Goodwin retired from
Industrial Risk Insurers as executive engineer.
WPI has learned of the death of John H.
Wyman '36 in 2004. He was retired from
the Maine Department of Transportation.
His wife, Dee, and four children survive him.
I««H| William Price '37 of
^H Phoenix, Ariz., died Feb.
I 3, 2008. A lifelong entre-
« I preneur and inventor, he
^M held numerous patents on
^^^^ systems used in the manu-
^Etl__J facturing, packaging,
construction, and power industries, as well a
variety of consumer devices. He also worked
in banking, management, and real estate,
ending his career as chairman and founder
of Price Investment Fund.
Richard H. Court Sr. '38 (Sigma Alpha
Epsilon) of Portsmouth, N.H., died Sept. 26,
2007. He was retired from a career as a sales
director for several New England resorts, in-
cluding the Morey Inn and Country Club,
and Wentworth by the Sea. He and his wife,
Jenny, performed as a vocal duo throughout
the region and on national television and
radio. He also leaves two children. His son,
Richard Court Jr. '67, has donated a scholar-
ship in his memory.
Louis M. Saltsman '38
(Alpha Epsilon Pi) of Los
Angeles died June 30,
2007. He leaves his wife,
Florence, and three sons.
He was the retired presi-
dent of California Stay Co.
Warren L. Hardy '39 (Theta Chi) of
Prescott, Ariz., died Nov. 11, 2007. Prede-
ceased by his wife, Elizabeth (O'Brien), and a
son, he is survived by six children. He was the
retired owner of Hardy Home Engineering.
WPI has also received notice
of the following deaths:
Allan W Cahoon'15in 1997
Warren L.Ellis '15 in 1988
Elmer B.Haines '15 in 1982
Rupert C. Pomeroy '17 in 1982
Emerson B. Donnell '22 in 1986
Sidney H. Avery '24 in 1976
Dana L. Forbes '25 in 1983
Harold B. Mallett '27 in 1996
Edgar W Flinton '28 in 2000
Martin B. Graham '35 in 1999
Wendell D. Jewell '35 in 1998
Ellery C. Merriam '35 in 1995
Paul E. Siegmund '59 (SIM) in 1993
George J. Waterfield '65 (SIM) in 1992
Fred A. King '68 (MNS) in 1990
Jon C. Freeman '83 (MSEE) in 1996
Gleason W. Jewett '39
(Sigma Phi Epsilon) of
Kingsland, Texas, died
Jan. 27, 2008. Prede-
ceased by his wife, Mar-
garet (Whitman), he
leaves three children. He
was retired from Peterson Manufacturing Co.
Leonard B. Landall '39 (Sigma Alpha Ep-
silon) of Peabody, Mass., died Sept. 27,
2008. Predeceased by his wife, Ruth (Yule),
he leaves three children. He was retired from
L. B. Landall & Associates.
Keith E. McKeeman '39 (Phi Sigma Kappa)
of Tucson, Ariz., died Jan. 8, 2008, leaving
his wife, Evelyn, and two sons. He was re-
tired from J. C. Penney Co. as chief indus-
Robert B. Mirick '39 of Minneapolis died
March 28, 2008. He was retired from Sani-
tary Farm Dairies. He is survived by his wife,
Donna, and two sons.
Raymond B. Shlora '40
(Phi Kappa Theta, Skull)
ofRye, N.Y., died May
30, 2008. He was the re-
tired president and CEO
of H. H. Brown Shoe Co.
He leaves his wife, Clare
(Heffernan), and four children.
Harry E. Stirling '40 (Theta Chi) died April
25, 2007. Predeceased by his wife, Malema,
he leaves two children. He served as a com-
mander in the U.S. Navy Bureau of Ships.
Michael Wales '40 (MS CHE'42) of Kula
Maui, Hawaii, died Dec. 30, 2007. He was a
researcher for Shell Oil. Survivors include his
wife, Ginette, and three children.
Gordon T. Gurney '41
(Alpha Tau Omega) of
Holden, Mass., died July
20, 2008. He leaves his
wife, Claire, and three
daughters. Gurney served
as chief engineer and di-
rector of engineering at Rockwell Sprinkler
and later held similar positions at Crompton
and Knowles, Alden Labs, and Feecon Corp.
A talented bass singer who took up music
late in life, he performed as a soloist at many
churches, sang in local ensembles, and per-
formed at WPI. He also served as treasurer
for Tech Old Timers.
William C. Wikstrand '41 (Phi Sigma
Theta) of Yarmouth Port, Mass., died March
1, 2008. He leaves his wife, Jean (Milne),
and two daughters. He was a researcher for
American Cyanamid Co.
Gordon J. Chaffee '42
(Sigma Alpha Epsilon)
of Chehalis, Wash., died
Jan. 1,2008. His wife,
Dorothy (Dick), died
in 2001. Five children
survive him. Chaffee
was retired from Weyerhaeuser Co. as senior
Merrill W. "Bud" Higgins '42 (Phi Gamma
Delta) of Worcester died June 15, 2008. He
was the husband of Barbara (Shepard), and
the father of Jonathan Higgins '81. He also
leaves three other children. Higgins worked
for Worcester Pressed Steel, Riley Stoker
Corp., and Coes Knife before starting Inter-
national Ceramic Engineering Co. with two
of his sons.
Richard H. Kimball Jr.
'42 (Alpha Tau Omega)
of Sharon, Mass., died
Nov. 22, 2007. He is sur-
vived by his wife, Barbara
(Watkins). Kimball held
bachelor's degrees from
WPI in mechanical engineering and electrical
engineering. He worked for Stone & Webster
Inc. (now The Shaw Group).
Raymond F. MacKay '42
(MS EE'43) of Scotia Vil-
lage, N.C., died Dec. 13,
2007. Survivors include
his wife, Patricia (Brett)
and three sons. MacKay
was an instructor at WPI
for several years. He joined the Navy in
1944, earned the rank of lieutenant com-
mander, and remained in the naval reserves
until 1964. He wrote numerous patents for
the Navy and later retired from Leeds &
Northrup (now a subsidiary of SPX Corp.)
as group patent manager.
Robert W. Mitchell'42
(Alpha Tau Omega) of
Concord, N.H., died
' I July 9, 2008. Predeceased
_^_ I by his wife, Marjorie
I (Lindhal), he leaves three
^LoL_^^H daughters. He was retired
from the former Sperry Rand Corp.
Adolph A. "Gus" Salminen '42 of Carroll
Township, Pa., died March 16, 2008, leaving
his wife, Kathleen, and three sons. He was
predeceased by a daughter. Salminen began
his career with American Steel & Wire, later
part of U.S. Steel, and retired in 1983 as a
senior systems analyst.
Norman A. Wilson '42 (Alpha Tao Omega)
of Concord, Mass., died Jan. 31, 2008. He
leaves his wife, Jane (Wilson), and two chil-
dren from his first marriage, as well as Jane's
three children. A 1961 graduate of WPI's
School of Industrial Management, he joined
Morgan Construction Co. as a research engi-
neer and retired in 1984 as director of
Donald C. Alexander '43 (Sigma Alpha
Epsilon) of Clark Fork, Idaho, died Dec. 12,
2007. He was retired from DeAngeli Indus-
tries. Predeceased by his wife, Margaret, he
leaves six children.
Edwin C. Campbell '43 (Phi Sigma Kappa)
of Falmouth, Maine, died Nov. 7, 2007.
He was preceded in death by his first wife,
Dorothy (Stevens), and his second wife, Jean
(Warren). Two children survive him. He was
retired from Factory Insurance Association,
later known as Industrial Risk Insurers.
Friend H. Kierstead Jr. '43 of Cuyahoga
Falls, Ohio, died Nov. 24, 2008. His wife,
Isabelle (Bird), died in 2001. Two daughters
and a son survive him. Kierstead was retired
from Loral Defense Systems.
Clifton B. Kinne '43
(Sigma Xi) of Needham,
Mass., died Dec. 6, 2007.
The former operator of
Kinne Electronics Repair,
he also worked for
Computer Control Co.,
Raytheon, and Honeywell. He is survived by
his wife, Dorothy (Leeper), his daughter,
Deborah Kinne Lyons '81, and four other
Edward H. "Pete"
Peterson '43 (Phi
Gamma Delta, Skull),
of Summit, N.J., died
Oct. 17, 2007. He was
the retired president of
Magnus Chemical Co.
He is survived by five children.
Donald H. Russell '43
(Lambda Chi Epsilon) of
Naples, Fla., died March
25, 2008. He was prede-
ceased by his first wife,
Ruth, and his second
wife, Marjory. Four chil-
dren and three stepchildren survive him.
Russell was retired from Tippetts Abbett
McCarthy Strat as a power engineer.
Richard B. Shaw '43, a former Worcester
resident, died July 14, 2007. He was retired
from Riley Stoker Corp. as a mechanical
engineer. Predeceased by a brother, he leaves
cousins and a niece.
Transformations | Winter 2 009 51
Peter C. Dooley Jr. '44
(Sigma Phi Alpha) of
Lewiston, N.Y., died
Oct. 24, 2007. He leaves
his wife, Clothilde (Smith),
and rvvo sons. He worked
for Ptecision Prototype
WPI has learned of the death of Joseph J.
Kairis '44, in 2005. A retired physics
teacher, he lived in Tallahassee, Fla., with
his wife, Ruth.
Ralph H. Keller '44 of Santa Ana, Calif,
died Feb. 12, 2007. He was the retired presi-
dent of California Non-Metalics. He is sur-
vived by his wife, Jean, and two children.
William E. Powers Jr.
'44 of Clinton, Mass.,
died April 17, 2008. He
earned a masters degree in
at RPI and worked for
United Aircraft Research
Labs and AVCO Corp. His wife, Mary (Con-
nors), survives him, along with three children.
Frederick M. Chakour
'45 (MS CM '47) of Sun
City West, Ariz., died
June 7, 2008. Predeceased
by his wife, Maria, he is
survived by five children.
Chakour retired from the
U.S. Department of Defense after 37 years
in research and development operations.
WPI has learned of the death of James
Taylor III '45 in 2000. He worked for E. I.
du Pont de Nemours & Co. and lived in
Aiken, S.C., with his wife, Amy.
Theodore E. Gazda '46 of Costa Mesa,
Calif, died May 26, 2006. He leaves his
wife, Anne, and three children. He worked
for Fluor Corp.
Walter O. Muller '46
(Lambda Chi Alpha), of
Naples, Fla., and Troy,
Mich., died March 3,
2008. He was retired from
General Motors as a re-
gional manager. He leaves
his wife, Joan (Douglas), and two daughters.
Rowland M. Newcomb '46 of Hatboro, Pa.,
died Nov. 14, 2007. Since 1949 he owned
and operated R. M. Newcomb Co. Inc.,
manufacturer of foreign auto parts, hydraulic
valves, "Brush-O-Matic" saws, and other cus-
tom industrial machinery. Predeceased by his
wife, Doris, he leaves five children.
52 Transformations \ Winter 2009
John G. Yorke '46 of Beaver Falls, Pa., died
Sept. 15, 2007. He leaves his wife, Greta,
and two sons. He was predeceased by another
son. Yorke operated Yorke Insurance Agency,
which he co-founded with his father in 1947.
William E. Boyd '47
(Phi Sigma Kappa) of
Rochester Hills, Mich.,
died May 21, 2008.
Predeceased by his wire,
Mary, and a daughter, he
is survived by three chil-
dren. Boyd retired from the Fisher Body
Division of General Motors Corp. and later
worked as a resistance welding consultant.
James M. Walker '47 of Brookside, N.J.,
died March 1 , 2006. He was retired from
Hoechst Corp. as a project engineer. He
leaves his wife, Jean, and two sons.
Alfred C. Hellig '48 (Phi Gamma Delta,
Skull) of Port Orange, Fla., died Dec. 5,
2007. He leaves his wife, Margaret, and two
children. He was the retired head of the sales
department at Worcester Valve Co.
Maclean Kirkwood Jr.
'48 (Sigma Alpha Ep-
silon) of South Orleans,
Mass., died Nov. 6, 2007.
Predeceased by his first
wife, Marguerite (Overn),
and a son, he leaves his
wife, Justine (Sanford), three sons, and three
stepchildren. Kirkwood worked for AT&T
for 34 years, establishing and maintaining
interstate telephone networks. He later
served as vice president and director of the
Operations Dept. of ITT/United States
A. Joseph Ragonesi '48 (Phi Kappa Theta)
of Trumbull, Conn., died June 18, 2008.
He leaves his wife, Jacqueline (McGill), and
three children. A longtime insurance broker,
he also taught licensing courses.
Roger C. Staples '48 of Santa Barbara,
Calif, died Jan. 15, 2008. He leaves his wife,
Anita, and four children. He was retired from
Raytheon Co. as a publications specialist.
Walter J. Charow '49 (Theta Chi) of
Burlington, Vt., died Dec. 7, 2007. He was
retired as engineering manager of the U.S.
Air Force Electronic Systems Division. A
1989 recipient of WPLs Herbert E Taylor
Alumni Award for Distinguished Service, his
fund-raising efforts brought about record
class gifts for WPI. Survivors include three
WPI has learned of the death of Peter A.
Kahn '49 (Alpha Epsilon Pi) in 1999. A
former self-employed consultant, he retired
to Marco Island, Fla. He and his wife, Sylvia,
had two children.
Robert E. Lazzerin Jr.
'49 (Alpha Tau Omega)
of Bloomfield Hills,
Mich., died Feb. 18,
2008. He leaves his wife,
Leslie, and a daughter. He
was retired from Chrysler
Corp. as a marketing manager.
Hans E. Picard '49 (Alpha Epsilon Pi) of
New Bedford, Mass., died Feb. 15, 2008.
He worked at Aerovox Corp. as an electrical
engineer and taught high school and college
courses. Survivors include his wife, Shirley
(Gerstein), and three children.
William G. Sloane '49
(Theta Chi) of Wood-
stock, N.Y, died June 23,
2006. He leaves his wife,
Shirley (Mayne), and four
children. He held mana-
gerial positions with sev-
eral manufacturing firms and was founder
and president of the executive search firm
Sloane, Sloane & Mayne.
Joseph T. Starr '49
(previously Gwiazda) of
West Boylston, Mass.,
died Dec. 4, 2007. He
leaves his wife, Genevieve
(Pogorzelski), and four
daughters. A longtime
chemical engineer, he worked for Vellumoid.
Edward L. Ahlstrom '50
(Alpha Tao Omega) of
Reading, Mass., died
March 30, 2008. He was
a retired staff engineer for
the Avco Division of Tex-
tron Defense Systems. He
and his late wife, Hilda, had three children.
Robert N. Cochran '51 of Gardner, Mass.,
died Dec. 1 1 , 2007. He was retired from
Collier- Keyworth Co. as chief engineer. His
wife, Grace (Bickelhaupt), and three children
John A. "Jack" Dillon Jr. '51 (Phi Sigma
Kappa) of Palm Desert, Calif, died March
31, 2008. He is survived by his companion
of 26 years, Peggy Anderson, and his three
children. He was predeceased by a son. Dil-
lon was retired from Purex Corp. as vice pres-
ident of engineering.
Donald Kolodne '51
(Alpha Epsilon Pi, Skull),
of Bethesda, Md., died
Aug. 6, 2007. He was
predeceased by his wife,
Emily, and a brother,
Walter J. Kolodne '51.
He was retired from DeLeuw Cather Corp.,
where he served as director of preconstruc-
William F. Mufatti Sr. '51 (Phi Kappa
Theta) of Pittsfield, Mass., died March 16,
2008. An intellectual property attorney, he
served as senior counsel for General Electric
Plastics and later joined the law firm of Cain,
Hibbard, Myers & Cook. Survivors include
his wife, June (Aromando), and two children.
Frank L. Flood Jr. '52 (Phi Sigma Kappa,
Skull) of Brecksville, Ohio, died April 8,
2008, leaving his wife, Barbara (Clark), and
two daughters. Two sons predeceased him.
Flood worked for Dravco Corp. and later
retired from Perini Corp. as manager of esti-
W. Dieter Hauser '52 of Bradford, Pa., died
March 3 1 , 2007. He leaves his wife, Jeanne,
and a son. He was retired from KOA Speer
Electronics as senior vice president of engi-
Chester S. Kolaczyk '52
(Sigma Alpha Epsilon) of
Huntington, N.Y., died
July 2, 2008, leaving his
wife, Marion, and two
children. He was retired
from Underwriters Labo-
ratories as engineering staff group leader.
^^■^^M Robert E. Sullivan '52
F "^ I (Phi Gamma Delta) of
| >^^ ^ I I East Longmeadow, Mass.,
'» "^ " I died March 9, 2008. He
mtrr- | leaves his wife, Doris
(Chickosky), and two
^ l sons. Sullivan was retired
from Hamilton Standard Division of United
Technologies Corp., where he served as qual-
ity control manager.
Robert G. Williams '52 of San Pedro, Calif,
died Oct. 20, 2007, leaving his wife, Arlene,
and four children. He was retired from
Hughes Aircraft Co.
Sidney R. Harvey '53 (Lambda Chi Alpha)
of Belle Meade, N.J., died Feb. 16, 2008.
He leaves his wife, Irene, and five children.
A longtime chemical engineer, he worked for
American Cyanamid and GAF Corp.
William M. Walsh '53 (Alpha Tau Omega)
of Pinehurst, N.C., died Jan. 24, 2008. He
was retired from Tyrol and Wethey Corp. as
a construction supervisor. He leaves his wife,
Joanne (Gross), and two children.
Lee W Catineau '54 (Phi Kappa Theta)
of Southborough, Mass., died July 8, 2007.
He leaves his wife, Rose, and two children.
He was vice president, investment, for Smith
George A. Gingras '54 of Trumbull, Conn.,
died Feb. 9, 2007, leaving his wife, Dorothy
(Pelland). He was retired Irom Remington
H. Peter D. Lanyon, professor emeritus of electrical and computer
engineering, died Aug. 7, 2008, as a result of injuries sustained in an
automobile accident. He served on the WPI faculty from 1967 until his
retirement in 1999. A native of Halesowen, England, Lanyon received
BA and MA degrees in physics from Christ's College, University of
Cambridge, in England, and a PhD in physics from the University of Leicester, also
in England. He is survived by his wife of 29 years, Iris (Velez), five children, and
Lyle E. Wimmergren, professor emeritus of management at WPI, died
April 15, 2008, after a brief illness. He retired in 1994, having taught
at WPI for 25 years. He earned a BS from Northwestern University in
1953 and an MBA with distinction from the Wharton School of Business
at the University of Pennsylvania in 1957. Wimmergren spent a sabbati-
cal year in 1993 working at the National Center for American Indian
Enterprise Development in Mesa, Ariz. For the past 12 years, he and
his wife, Marilyn (Snyder), had worked as Volunteer National Rangers
through the Volunteers in Parks Program of the National Parks Service. He enjoyed
teaching Southwest history and culture to park visitors, most recently at Tumacacori
National Historic Park in Tumacacori, Ariz.
Full obituaries may be read at wpi.edu/News/Memoriam.
Raymond H. Naudin '54 (Lambda Chi
Alpha) of Taveres, Fla., and his wife, Eliza-
beth, died May 28, 2008. They are survived
by three children. He was retired from the
former Langston Corp. as director of interna-
Walter B. "Tip" Power III '55 (Sigma Phi
Epsilon) of Salem, Mass., died April 18,
2008. He was the father of Sherman Power
'84 and Walter Power IV '85. He also leaves
his wife, Sandra (Sherman), a daughter, and
another son. Power earned an MBA at
Northeastern University and founded Power
Sales Group, which serviced utilities through-
out New England.
Sheldon C. Harriman '57 of Camarillo,
Calif, died Feb. 27, 2006. He leaves his wife,
Beverly. After teaching in the Worcester
school system, he joined System Develop-
ment Corp. (later part of Unisys), where he
served as a project leader.
Robert M. Griffin '58 (Phi Kappa Theta) of
Swampscott, Mass., died May 14, 2008. He
was retired from Sylvania Light Division as
engineering manager for tungsten halogen
lamp development. He leaves his wife, Alice,
and three children.
Harry W Simpson '58 (Sigma Alpha Epsi-
lon) of West Springfield, Mass., died April
19, 2008. Survivors include his wife, Jocelyn,
and four children. He was retired from Hamil-
ton Standard Co. as a mechanical engineer.
Richard L. Bratt '59
(MSM 79) (Sigma Phi
Epsilon) of Holden,
Mass., died Nov. 20,
2007. A longtime product
engineer for Norton Co.,
he was also the owner of
Bratt Corp. and manufacturer of the "Bratt's
Bat" invented by his father. He leaves his
wife, Jean (Seavey), and three daughters.
n Donald R. Ferrari '59
(Phi Kappa Theta. Skull)
of Webster, Mass., died
May 9, 2008. He leaves
his wife, Lorraine (Mar-
monti), and three chil-
dren. He was recently
retired from Holy Name High School in
Worcester as a chemistry teacher and head
coach for football and basketball. He was in-
ducted into the WPI Hall of Fame in 1989.
John W Gray '59 (SIM) of Worcester died
April 4, 2007, at the age of 98. He was re-
tired from a 28-year career with Bay State
Abrasives. Predeceased by his wife, Gladys
(Gaboury), he leaves two daughters.
Robert W Milik Jr. '59 (Phi Kappa Theta)
of Nanticoke, Pa., died Oct. 11, 2007. He
worked for Sperry Gyroscope as a systems
engineer. His wife, Marie, survives him.
Transformations \ Winter 2 009 53
Leo J. Thomas '59 of Baldwinsville, N.Y.,
died Dec. 16, 2006. He was retired from
Terry Corp., a division of Ingersoll Rand,
as supervisor of manufacturing services. His
wife, Ann, and three children survive him.
Vincent J. Akelaitis '60 (SIM) of Naples,
Fla., died June 17, 2006. He was 89. He
worked for the former Simplatrol Dana
Irwin "Jake" Jacobs '60 (Alpha Epsilon Pi)
died Dec. 10, 2008, at his home in Naples,
Fla. He leaves his wife, Joanne (Haddad),
and three children. He worked for Digital
Equipment Corp. for many years and retired
from DataViews Corp. in 1997 as president.
David I. Westling '60 (SIM), 78, of Joshua
Tree, Calif, died Sept. 1, 2006. He leaves his
wife, Ethel, and four children. He worked for
National Standard Co.
Francis Dusza '63 (SIM) of Holland, Mass.,
died Dec. 1, 2007. He was 82. Dusza worked
at Russell Harrington Cutlery for 61 years.
He retired as manager of manufacturing
processes and continued as a consultant.
He leaves his wife, Rachel (Jalbert), and a
Steven C. Grossman '64 (Alpha Epsilon Pi)
of Brookline, Mass., died March 19, 2008.
A self-employed technical consultant, he is
survived by two daughters.
Oke William Bjornlund '65 (SIM), 90,
of Rochester, N.H., died June 9, 2008. His
wife, Shirley (Hanson) died in 2002. Two
sons survive him. He worked in the machine
tool division of Norton Co. and Warner
Swasey, and later worked at O. S. Walker
and Walker Magnetics.
Albert L. Giannotti Jr. '65 (Phi Kappa
Theta) of Fishers, Ind., died Nov. 21, 2008.
He leaves his wife, Denise (Gorgal), and two
children. He was predeceased by a daughter.
His career included 12 years with TCI (Tele-
Communication Inc.) and seven years with
Network Engineering Inc., as general man-
ager. He was also owner of "Uncle Albert's
Outlet," a chain of three retail fashion stores
in Syracuse, N.Y.
Lt. Col. John M. Porter (Ret.) '65, a former
Army advisor on chemical and nuclear
weapons, died Jan. 1, 2008, in Annapolis,
Md. His military career included serving as
advisor to the Vietnamese infantry, managing
chemical and nuclear weapons in Europe,
and designing curricula for the Army Chemi-
cal School. Survivors include two brothers
and a sister.
Ronald C. Snell '66 of Marlborough, Mass.,
died Nov. 12, 2007. He leaves his wife,
Judith (McKinley), and two children. Snell
worked for Polaroid Corp. and retired in
1995 as senior principal electrical engineer.
Michael B. Barr '67 of Piscataway, N.J.,
(Alpha Epsilon Pi) died Nov. 27, 2007. He
was an operations manager with C & K
Scrap Metal. Survivors include his wife,
Pamela, and two sons.
Kenneth R. Prefontaine '67 (Sigma Alpha
Epsilon) of Westfield, Mass., died Dec. 28,
2007. He worked for Combustion Engineer-
ing, where he designed and inspected pollu-
tion control systems for power plants.
Survivors include his wife, Frankie, a son,
and his ex-wife, Evelyn.
WPI has learned of the death of Edgar
Rothschild '67 (SIM) in 2005. He and his
wife, Sandra (Kahane), had two children. He
was president of Abbott Equipment Corp.
Robert P. Kusy '69 (Alpha Tau Omega) of
Chapel Hill, N.C., died Feb. 6, 2008. He
was a retired professor at the University of
North Carolina, where he held a joint ap-
pointment in the Orthodontics Department
of the School of Dentistry and the Biomed-
ical Engineering Program of the School of
Medicine. Kusy was the author of hundreds
of papers and presentations. He also held
four patents. He leaves his wife, Gisela, and
John K. Redmon '70 (MSEE), 86, of Fay-
etteville, N.C., died Oct. 6, 2006. He was an
associate professor at New Jersey Institute of
Technology and also worked in the utilities
Walter I. Beinar '71 (SIM) of Auburn,
Mass., died Dec. 22, 2007, at age 93. He is
survived by his wife, Elizabeth (Hoyle), and
four children. He was retired from Tupco.
Steven H. Face '71 of Colorado Springs,
Colo., died June 3, 2006. He was an engi-
neer with Northrop Grumman and previ-
ously worked for Kaman Sciences Corp. He
leaves his fiancee, Martha Iverson, and three
WPI has learned of the death of John J.
Eagan '73 (SIM) in 2004. He worked for
EG&G Rotron Custom Division. Widowed
by his first wife, Alice, he was the husband of
Madeline Eagan and had two children and
Karl S. Williams '73 of Craftsbury, Vt., died
April 10, 2007. He leaves his wife, Cheryl
(Miner), and two children. He was the plant
manager for Sterling College.
Louis J. Piscitelle 74 (MS ME 78) of
Wellesley, Mass., died April 7, 2008. A
former chief mathematician at the Army's
Natick Laboratories, he also taught at North-
eastern University Graduate School of Engi-
neering. He leaves his wife, Suzanne
(Offredi), and two daughters.
Charles E. Pybas Jr. 74 (SIM) of Stur-
bridge, Mass., died Dec. 26, 2007. He
was 75. His wife, Jean (Dowd), and three
children survive him. He was retired from
Warren Pumps as a mechanical and marine
WPI has learned of the death of Robert R.
Rosander 74 (MSM) of Manhattan,
Kansas, in 2002. He was president and CEO
of Nanoscale Materials Inc. He is survived by
his wife, Jan, and a son.
Daniel C. O'Keefe 75 (PhD EE) of West
Haven, Conn., died July 1 1, 2007, at the age
of 63. He was a professor of electrical and
computer engineering at the University of
New Haven. He joined the faculty in 1969
and was posthumously appointed professor
WPI has learned of the death of Constance
Huflf 76 of Atlanta, Ga., in 2005. She is
survived by two children.
Benjamin M. Jacobs Jr.
76 died Aug. 3, 2008,
after suffering a stroke in
January. He was an actor
and storyteller who cre-
ated special programs for
schools, museums, and
cultural organizations, focusing on racial har-
mony and urban cultural issues. Since 2002
he was executive director of the Council on
the Arts and Humanities for Staten Island
(COAHSI). He leaves his wife, Diane
Matyas, and two children.
54 Transformations \ Winter 2009
Bruce P. Wilmer '76 of Wethersfield, Conn.,
was killed in an automobile accident in
Seville, Spain, on Feb. 15, 2007. His father
also died in the accident. Survivors include
Bruce's mother, Ann Wilmer, and his five sib-
lings. Wilmer earned an MBA from the Uni-
versity of Connecticut School of Business
and worked for the Connecticut Department
of Mental Retardation. He also was a busi-
ness partner in The Inn at Bay Fortune,
Prince Edward Island, Canada, which his
family owned and operated.
Hans W. Reinberg '77 (SIM) of Sterling,
Mass., died March 13, 2008. He was 81.
A longtime employee of Riley Stoker Co.,
he leaves his wife, Lisa, and two children.
WPI has learned of the death of Alden E.
Rice '77 (SIM) in 2003, at age 79. A long-
time employee of Bay State Abrasives, he was
the husband of Dorenda (Stewart) and the
father of three children.
WPI has learned of the death of Gerald L.
Audette '78 (SIM) in 2004, at age 61. He
and his wife, Carolyn lived in Auburn, Mass.,
and had three children. He was retired from
Morgan Construction Co. as a senior planner.
Robert L. Dufault '79 (MSN) of Hudson,
N.H., died Sept. 15, 2007. He was 63. He
leaves his wife, Susan (Holt), and two chil-
dren. Dufault was a chemistry teacher at
Salem High School for 32 years.
William D.Jones '80 (MM) of Springfield,
Mass., died Feb. 2, 2008, at age 63. A long-
time math teacher in the Springfield public
schools, he retired in 2007 as student data-
base specialist. He leaves three children.
Stephen Kuizinas '80 of North Oxford,
Mass., died June 1 1, 2008, after a long
struggle with multiple sclerosis. Survivors
include his parents and four siblings. After
graduating from WPI he worked for Parker
Manufacturing and Flight Corp.
John H. Milson '81 (MS CS) of Randolph,
Mass., died Dec. 6, 2007, at age 80. He
leaves his wife, Theresa (O'Donnell), and
two children. Milson was a quality assurance
engineer who worked for Interactive Data
Systems and Prime Computer.
Karen Ann Crall-Fallon '84 of Ashburn-
ham, Mass., died June 10, 2008, after a
sudden illness. She leaves her husband,
Donald, and a son. After earning an MBA
from Suffolk University, she worked as a re-
search chemist for Sanncor Industries and the
John H. Scannell '85 (SIM) of Rutland,
Mass., died June 1, 2006, at age 74. He
leaves his wife, Mary, and a daughter. He
was a general manager for Nypro.
Richard A. Rosenthal '87 (MBA), a long-
time resident of Lexington, Mass., died Oct.
7, 2007. He was 71. He leaves his wife, Carol
(Kadish), two children, and two stepchildren.
He was retired from Polaroid Corp. after a
Robert C. DelSignore Jr. '88 (MS EE) of
Shrewsbury, Mass., died Jan. 5, 2007. He
was 57. He leaves his wife, Judith (Zeider),
and two children. He was an electronics engi-
neer for WPI's Bioengineering Institute and
previously worked for Giant Loop Network,
Digital Equipment Corp., and Lucent Tech-
Robert B. Smith Jr. '95 of Atlanta died Aug.
28, 2007. He was vice president of land de-
velopment for Lennar Homes. He is survived
by his wife, Darlene.
Willis R. Whiting Jr. '98 (SIM) of Wood-
stock, Conn., died May 14, 2008, at age 60.
He was a plant engineer for Morgan Con-
struction Co. He leaves his wife, Ellen (Mc-
Caffrey), and three children.
Kevin F. Keene '00 (Theta Chi) of Saugus,
Mass., died unexpectedly on July 31, 2008.
He was the husband of Jessica (Moya), who
survives him. He was an aerospace engineer
at Goodrich Corp.
Former crew captain Jennifer McLaughlin
'06 (Phi Sigma Sigma) of Marlborough,
Mass., died peacefully in her sleep on Nov. 1,
2006, while traveling on business. Survivors
include her parents, three siblings, and her
fiance, Ryan Wartman 03. A biomedical
engineer at Hologic Inc., she previously
worked for Innovative Spinal Technologies.
The family welcomes contributions toward a
new crew shell named in her honor. Checks
payable to WPI may be sent to the Office
of Development and Alumni Relations.
Robert S. Weiler '06 of Wilmington Del.,
died March 6, 2006. He was 54.
Postscript. . .
Ralph K. Mongeon '55 (SIM 76), who
died in 2007, was posthumously elected
a fellow of ASME. A longtime manager
at Riley Stoker Corp., he was instrumen-
tal in obtaining research and develop-
The Robert R Apkarian Integrated
Electron Microscopy Core at Emory
University was dedicated last year.
Apkarian (Class of 1975), founder and
director of Emory's first microscopy fa-
cility, was killed in a motorcycle accident
in 2006. A forest has been planted in his
honor on the slopes of Mt. Aragats in
Armenia; it will surround the cosmic ray
facility of the Yerevan Physics Institute.
Dear Tommy (Trafford Publishing)
commemorates the life Thomas J.
O'Neil '94, who was killed in a work-
related accident during his senior year.
The book compiles letters, dreams, and
poetry by his sister, Christie O'Neil Har-
rison, who used her journal to maintain
a relationship with her younger brother.
The Ryan Patrick Jones Heart of a
Hero Foundation is the legacy of the
2005 alumnus who was killed by a road-
side bomb in Baghdad in 2007. Jones
left a letter requesting that in the event
of his death, the proceeds from his life
insurance policy be used to create schol-
arships for students at his high school.
His parents, Kevin and Elaine Jones,
accepted the Boston Celtics Heroes
Among Us award on Ryan's behalf at
the April 20, 2008, Celtics game.
Transformations \ Winter 2009 55
<> TIME CAPSULE
A major renovation of Goddard Hall is nearly complete. When all is said and done, the new Undergraduate Life
Sciences Laboratory Center at WPI will comprise 21,300 square feet of laboratories and will feature vibrant, open, and
technology-rich spaces that provide a host of new curricular opportunities. The Center will become WPI's main facility for
undergraduate teaching and research in biology and biotechnology, biomedical engineering, chemistry and biochemistry,
and chemical engineering. The renovation and integration of these labs was made possible by a $6 million gift last year
from the George I. Alden Trust.
Originally built in 1965, Goddard Hall is named for one of WPI's most distinguished alumni, Robert H. Goddard, class
of 1908. Known as the father of modern rocketry, Goddard was celebrated on campus last year to honor the 100th
anniversary of his graduation from WPI.
5 6 Transformations \ Winter 2 009
in Science OC Engineering
Discover. Innovate. Advance.
^1 ^^^^ki^^K mM
WPI's Science and Engineering Graduate Programs feature world-
class faculty and facilities. At WPI, graduate students and faculty
work closely together in a number of cutting-edge research areas,
leading to breakthroughs and innovations in such fields as biotech-
nology, fuel cells, nanotechnology, and information security.
Graduate Programs at WPI
Biology and Biotechnology
Chemistry and Biochemistry
Civil and Environmental Engineering
Electrical and Computer Engineering
Fire Protection Engineering
• Manufacturing Engineering
• Materials Process Engineering
• Materials Sciences and Engineering
• Mathematical Sciences
• Mechanical Engineering
• Social Science and Policy Studies
Opportunities for fellowships, teaching, and research assistantships
are available for full-time students.
The following programs are available online:
Environmental Engineering, Fire Protection Engineering, Management, and System Dynamics
To Register for an Upcoming Information Session
grad.wpi.edu • 508-831-5301 • email@example.com
Graduate Studies at Worcester Polytechnic Institute
*****************5-DIGIT 03224 S378 P3
MR. RODNEY G. OBIEN
168 BRIAR BUSH RD
CANTERBURY NH 03224-2600
II. .11. nil. ...II
III. Mil. 1. 1
''Everyone's future will be shaped by
the students who are attending WPI
today The research we conduct, the
new technologies we create, and the
discoveries we make could end up
saving or prolonging lives tomorrow."
— Jennifer Sansom '10
> Alumni gifts of $100 or more to the Annual Fund
will be matched (50 cents on the dollar) by Trustee
Mike Dolan '75, through June 30. Give to the
Dolan Challenge today:
Thank you for your gift of discovery. Please make a gift to the WPI A
1-877-WPI-FUND or www.wpi.ed u/+giving